Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Rockwood School District's chief financial and legislative affairs officer presented a "where we head now" update at Thursday's Board of Education meeting. Some of the district's HVAC units are older, high-risk units.
With the failure of the $38.4 million no-tax rate increase Proposition S on April 2, many Rockwood School District taxpayers and parents were wondering what to envision for the district's financial future. Rockwood's chief financial and legislative affairs officer Tim Rooney presented a financial overview to the Board of Education directors at Thursday evening's board meeting at Crestview Middle School in Ellisville. Rooney said the budget target, as originally presented Dec. 6, 2012, was $10.9 million. The projected deficit was to be $5.1 million. He said an additional $1 million was needed for maintenance, increasing the capital budget to $2 million. The budget for technology had been $2.5 million, particularly given the estimated needs …
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
VIDEOS: Rockwood voters on Tuesday decided the fate of Proposition S, a $38.4 million no-tax rate increase bond issue, after several months of many public debates about its timing, focus and amount.
A four-sevenths, or 57.14 percent, majority was necessary for passage of Proposition S on April 2 among voters in the Rockwood School District. Prop S was offered as a $38.4 million no-tax rate increase bond initiative that focused on safety, technology and school improvements. The proposition was not passed by voters in Tuesday's election, by a 52.98 percent (9,256 votes) against or NO versus 47.02 percent (8,214 votes) for or YES. That's a difference of 1,042 votes. Rhonda Costa, chair of the "Yes on Prop S" committee, said committee members were most surprised at the degree of negativity that kept boomeranging back. "Every time we tried to move forward, the conversations and focus seemed to drag us back. How can we focus on what our …
Saturday, March 30, 2013
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: One parent explains his discovery of why the timing of Proposition S is what it is for the Rockwood School District. "What I learned (Wednesday) was sobering."
Saturday, March 30
Rockwood School District’s (RSD) Proposition S will be decided on April 2. I attended an information session Wednesday at Lafayette High School in Wildwood, where RSD presented their case. Testimony was presented from school representatives, and highlights were that Prop S includes fixing the sinking floor of an entire wing of Ellisville Elementary (built in 1938), resulting in structure issues, among other problems. We also learned a classroom’s handicapped children must exit to outdoors to re-enter the cafeteria, because it is not compliant with the American Disabilities Act. I heard, but have also seen myself, that Chesterfield Elementary has a tiny library that needs upgrading, and that they are continually, and I mean continually, …
Monday, January 14, 2013
A list of 20 budgetary items were presented at the Rockwood School District Board of Education meeting Thursday evening. Some were taken off the list by Rockwood Superintendent Bruce Borchers. Reserves now will be tapped.
Seventh on the list of 20 proposed budgetary cuts for fiscal school year 2013-2014 at Rockwood School District's Board of Education meeting Thursday was: "Freeze funds for library book purchases." An estimated crowd of 200 booked it to the meeting to participate in this budget discussion, including two of Rockwood's librarians—who spoke against withdrawing financial support to the district's libraries. Melissa Twombly, librarian at Lafayette High School in Wildwood, explained to Rockwood's education directors it took a decade of struggling for the district's librarians to meet current needs. She said many schools were lucky to have parent-teacher organizations that assisted with goals, but that it led to inconsistency and lack of equity …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
During Monday morning and evening sessions, Picture Rockwood citizen co-chairs presented results of a recent feedback phase of the district's community engagement process. They again will be at presented Thursday's Board of Education meeting.
Since last fall, Rockwood School District parents, teachers, patrons and leaders have sought to better understand what the majority of the district's stakeholders would like the district to look like 10 or 20 years from now, so current strategic plans and finances can be shaped around that vision. Rockwood is Missouri's third largest school district, according to Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education statistics, and St. Louis County's largest school district, so capturing its future into "one picture/perspective" was a pretty tall order. How to fund whatever that future "picture" has been at the heart of these conversations. Another spotlight will be cast during Thursday night at the Rockwood Board of Education meeting …
Friday, April 6, 2012
What cost-cutting steps will be chosen for Rockwood School District now that the Proposition R $43.2M bond measure failed to pass in Tuesday's election? Are the district's gold standards in jeopardy?
Educating students is one of the most important challenges faced by every community in the United States right now, especially when it comes to financing all options people want for children. While a 54 percent majority of Rockwood School District voters supported the $43.2 million Proposition R in Tuesday's election, it fell short of the state’s requirement of 57.14 percent for passage of a bond issue. The deficit in voters was projected to be about 400. See related article from Tuesday night: Rockwood Voters Reject School Bond Measure With Rockwood being approximately the third largest district in Missouri and one of the biggest in the United States, many people now are focused on how Rockwood representatives and taxpayers will …
Friday, February 18, 2011
The district's board of education directors could seek a tax hike that would offset a revenue shortage of $8 to $16 million in the 2012-2013 school year.
Rockwood School District voters could be asked for a tax increase of anywhere from 32 cents to 62 cents to head off an expected $8 to $16 million deficit in the 2012-2013 fiscal year. District managers forecast revenues of $202.7 million against expenses of $211.1 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, but state funding cuts and the continuing economic downturn could boost that number. District officials presented the forecasts at Thursday's districtwide Stakeholder Input Meeting hosted at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton. The meeting was part of the district’s Guiding Change Fiscal Year 2013 Sustainable Budget Process. The process is designed to gain input from district taxpayers to help develop a financial plan for the coming fiscal…
Saturday, December 18, 2010
School board directors salvaged and revamped many programs in innovative ways, rather than completely eliminating them.
Rockwood School District's board of education directors pinpointed $5.3 million worth of cost reductions from educational programs and administrative elements after four hours of discussions and decisions Thursday evening. Board members started with a publicly available list of 44 items that had been offered as a combined result of public input sessions, an online survey, a telephone survey, direct e-mails to district staffers, and priorities as arranged by the six departmental heads who report to Rockwood's superintendent Bruce Borchers. Editorial Note to Patch readers: The new list that accompanies this article also contains 44 items, but was revised by district representatives from the first published list to include more elements to …
Monday, December 6, 2010
When it comes to spending, is it about what we want or need?
MEMO: It is not about what we WANT; it is about what we NEED! Unemployment rates are at record highs with no marked improvement in the foreseeable future. Our mindsets must go through self-evaluation using the memo as a guide. As a wife and mother of two children under the age of 18, I believe families already have received this memo and have been making the necessary cutbacks and wiser spending decisions. It is long past time for the managers of institutions whose operating budgets are fully funded by taxpayers, patrons or members to realize it is not their money to spend at will. And it is well past the time for accountability. This message needs to be sent directly, firmly and without apology. Whether it be the non-profit group …