Kirkwood residents listen to school district explain finances

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KPLR) – On Tuesday night parents, teachers and administrators gathered at the Kirkwood School District to discuss their financial health and shortfalls. During the 1-hour meeting school officials said student enrollment has jumped 14 percent in the last 5 years with a total of 600 kids.  Meanwhile, tax money is dwindling causing them to make cuts. The topic of discussion was specifically how to use their $60 million dollars in operations funds. That money is normally used for salaries and benefits. Officials also say it`s been 10 years since they`ve asked for a tax increase. A $3.5 million dollar shortfall is expected this year and $5 million in 2016. Officials also say they are a destination district and while people are sending kids to the district, the amount of tax money is not going up.

They also discussed renting out school facilities to help generate funds for the district. The number of non-resident students from Riverview Gardens and St. Louis is dropping. So the transfer program is not a factor. The cost per student is average for the county. Class sizes of 20 students could also go up. Right now there are 5,600 students in the district. Another meeting is set for next week to discuss maintenance costs.

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