CHESTERFIELD, MO (KPLR) - In West County’s Rockwood School District, voters took to the polls and turned down Proposition S.
Prop S is a no tax-rate increase bond issue that would have focused on safety and technology improvements in schools, like security cameras and replacing old computers. It would have also gone towards school renovations, including new locker rooms and a cafeteria.
Proponents said it was necessary. Prop S Advocate Rhonda Costa says, “There are a lot of improvements that need to be done for our schools but there’s just no money for it.”
However, confidence in the school board’s ability to spend wisely wavered after a February audit of the school district revealed wasteful spending and conflicts of interest.
Hazel Day, a parent of two Rockwood students, says the state audit was a real eye-opener that inspired her to vote against Prop S. She explains, “The current environment of fiscal responsibility and the $1.2 million question mark of why did that happen, I think they need to start opening some books and let a little sunshine come into what’s happening.”
“Scandal after scandal; people are not being held responsible,” adds
Rockwood grandparent Paul James, also opposed to Prop S.
FOX2 spoke with several voters who cited additional concerns with Prop S. For example, some felt the improvements were not essential, and felt the district should use the funds it already has.
Day says, “I think that from the schools my children are in, safety has already been a huge issue that’s already been taken care of.”
However, proponents feel it’s unfortunate if the audit’s controversial findings got in the way of voters making decisions that would benefit Rockwood children.
Costa explains, “To not vote for a bond issue really does hurt our children because these are capital improvements only. These do not pay people’s salaries. These are improvements for our buildings. And if we don’t have good buildings, good schools, good facilities, then how can we expect to give our kids the best education they can possibly get?”
In order to pass, Prop S needed a 4/7th majority, or about 57% of the vote.
Over the past ten years, Rockwood voters have approved $225 million worth of bond issues.
Also on this ballot were two current board members up for re-election, Janet Strate and Steve Banton. Both were voted out of office.