Proposition E passed by a wide margin in Edwardsville District 7, staving off a budget cut that many residents felt would seriously damage the school district by opting to raise the property tax rate.
In final but unofficial vote tallies, Proposition E passed with 8,618 votes to 5,804 opposed in Tuesday’s election. This was the second run at a property tax increase for the education fund of Edwardsville District 7. The November vote narrowly failed by about 1,080 votes out of nearly 28,000 cast.
Proposition E will raise property taxes from $2.15 per $2.70 per $100 of equalized assessed value, for a total district tax rate of $4.70. For the owner of a $100,000 home, that is estimated to increase the annual tax bill by $182 and add $6.9 million per year to district revenue.
The school board had already voted on the fall-back plan of what programs and services would have to be eliminated to prevent falling deeper into debt if the referendum should fail. Among those changes were:
Eliminating all sports at both middle schools and freshman sports at Edwardsville High School.
▪ Reduce extracurricular clubs at both middle schools and the high school by 50 percent, as well as math club from the intermediate schools.
▪ Eliminate band and orchestra for fourth and fifth grades.
▪ Reduce middle school theater performances to one per year.
▪ Reduce course offerings at Edwardsville High School.
▪ Eliminate summer school and the writing center from Edwardsville High School.
▪ Eliminate after-school tutoring from the middle schools and high school, and the elementary Challenge Program.
▪ Eliminate all field trips in grades K-12.
▪ Eliminate the early bird bus service from Edwardsville High School and the after-school activity bus from the middle schools and high school.
▪ No textbooks, security cameras or computers will be updated, and wifi will be shut down at the middle schools and high school.
The board voted on this list of cuts at its Feb. 27 meeting contingent on the results of the election; if it passed, the cuts would not take effect. If it had failed, they would.
Superintendent Lynda Andre and Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night. Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt, who also won his election Tuesday night, said he was “very very very very pleased” to see that Prop E would pass.
“Our village is very successful because of our school district,” Jackstadt said. “It’s pleasing to see that our school district will continue to excel.”