O'Fallon School District 90 says it can't keep pace with falling state revenues and wants district voters to raise property taxes on themselves by 49 cents per $100.
Whether the voters will agree will depend on how well school administrators and board members plead their case between now and the April election.
If this referendum is going to pass, voters will have to be convinced that the district has already made sufficient cuts and that additional cuts would be devastating. We're not sure the district can do that on either count.
Since 2009, the district has cut more than $3 million, but those cuts don't seem particularly deep. More jobs could be eliminated without hurting the quality of education in the classroom. Salaries could be rolled back, not just frozen.
The district says that extracurricular activities would be on the chopping block without a tax increase, but many people believe tax dollars shouldn't be funding those anyway. Losing an assistant principal or staggering the cleaning of classrooms, two other threatened cuts, doesn't sound that bad, either.
In short, if the district expects voters to sacrifice, the district has to do so first.