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Voters decide of many key school districts issues

Many schools are asking for money for improvements and more.
Renovations Independence School District
Posted at 5:03 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 18:29:18-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Voters on Tuesday are deciding on several school district related issues across the metro.

This election day comes with big asks from these schools.

In the Independence School Districts, voters are deciding on a $43-million bond issue that focuses on safety and security improvements.

"What we are going to do is ensure all of our buildings in the ISD have a secure vestibule as you enter into the building," Dr. Dale Herl, Independence School District Superintendent said.

The district wants to give Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman High School auditoriums and fine arts facilities a makeover, as well as upgrading the elementary school playgrounds.

"What better way to spend bond issue money than ensuring a great playground for all of our kids," Herl said.

This is a no tax increase bond issue, which means people who live in Independence won't see their taxes go up.

"Over the last 11 years, the ISD has refinanced bonds and saved tax payers approximately $11.6 million," Herl said. "Also, during this time, we have aggressively paid down existing debt. So because of those two things, we are able to issue $48 million worth of bonds and have it not be an increase to our tax payers."

District parent Alex Glipin hopes other parents vote yes .

"For many of us, me included, I use the playground in the evening," Gilpin said. "Our family goes up there. So these are really neighborhood parks is really what they are."

In the Grandview C-4 School District, voters will decide on two issues.

"We have two things on the ballot," Dr. Kenny Rodrequez, Superintendent of the Grandview C-4 School District said. "We have a 60 cent levy increase which will increase taxes and then we have a $45 million no tax increase bond."

The district’s current operating tax levy would go up to $4.9057, or an additional $114 per year in property tax for a $100,000 home.

The second bond issue before Grandview C-4 voters would authorize would be the issuance of $45 million in bonds for a range of infrastructure improvements, but it would not impact the district’s debt service levy.

The money would be used for improvements to athletic facilities, remodeled restrooms, new windows in some schools, a new gym and fine arts addition at Martin City School and numerous other projects.

The district said one of the things the levy increase involves is teacher salaries.

"About 80 percent of our operating budget is going toward salaries is attract and retain the best and brightest," Rodrequez said. "What I keep telling people is we need to value our teachers and our support staff more than ever. This is our opportunity to make sure we can continue to do that in the future."