MRH Prop Y wins big

After an intense campaign, Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Proposition Y passed by a two-thirds margin: 2,199 – 1,109 votes.

The results came out online a little after 9 p.m. It was expected it could have gone later after the polling place at The Heights was in danger of running out of ballots Tuesday morning. It didn’t ā€” ballots were delivered in time, according to Richmond Heights Mayor Jim Beck.

A couple hundred Prop Y supporters gathered at Juke Joint Dueling Piano Bar in Maplewood to watch the results come in.

Organizer, Tonya Powell, said after the results were in, that when she first saw Prop Y was going to be on the ballot she was a bit scared.

“We had a great run with Prop K, but levies are harder. You don’t have any pictures of pretty buildings. You can’t show people what they get when it passes. It’s hard to believe now but I was even worried about getting volunteers,” she said.

MRH Superintendent Karen Hall said, “We believe in each other and we believe in our school, and we showed everyone we’re going to continue to provide quality education for all children. The support and the love we felt through this whole process has been amazing.”

See also: Richmond Heights elects new mayor, Maplewood voters approve term limits

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.46.26 PM

MRH Superintendent Karen Hall thanks the volunteers.

MRH Superintendent Karen Hall thanks the volunteers.

36 thoughts on “MRH Prop Y wins big

  1. Here is some more information on who pays for field trips. I contacted the district and this is what I learned:

    There are fundraisers, and parents are usually asked to pay the difference to send their kids on field trips. This is particularly true for the 6th grade capstone trip. I believe they go to Chicago.

    The middle school is different. Each student is charged a $50 “expedition” fee for the year. After that, the trips are free, including the big excursions – Tremont for the 7th grade and Dauphin Island for the 8th grade. These trips are considered part of the middle school curriculum, and paid for with district funds.

    So, it’s a mixed bag. Sometimes you pay, sometimes you don’t

    • Thanks for digging up that information. I don’t agree that taxpayers should pick up the bill out of state trips for kids. If the parents can’t afford to pay for these trips then they should do something more affordable in the region.

      From what I read, the budget for the district is 28,000,000/year and there are something like 1,200 something students in the district. I see no need for a rate increase when over $20,000/student is already being spent. How do private schools get by with charging less than half of that?

      Residents of the district are being priced out and this is really hurting seniors and those on fixed income. Remember you don’t really own your home if you can’t afford to pay your property tax every year. Others comment on how this will increase the property values. That may be true, but that will lead to ever increasing assessments and property tax bills.

  2. I wonder how long it will be before the next tax increase?they say we have smaller number of houses so we have to pay higher tax rate. But if they keep tearing down the houses to build the Walmart and the rest of the delvement in the last 10 years that pay no tax’s to the schools I wish that the school board could work as hard on stopping the tifs.They will not because some if the same people pushing the tax increase. Push the Walmart and to tare down all those houses that could have help the school’s Hippocrates

  3. The real estate tax on my home in Maplewood is higher than any I’ve seen around. I’m in the real estate profession, and I deal with real estate taxes all the time. This home is less than 1,000 sq. ft and tax is almost $2,900. It has not even been remodeled. We tried to fight the assessment last year and didn’t get anywhere. Now it is under appeal. Taxes in Webster and Kirkwood are not as high as this. When does it stop? I’ve has some clients decide not to buy in Maplewood because the taxes were so high. They can go to other great areas for a much lower cost.

    • I voted no, not because of anything having to do with the schools–which I do think are important, but I am still trying to dig out of debt from job loss 11 years ago and then was hit really hard during the recession. I have a long list of things to repair on the house so the more taxes and debt I have to pay down, the less money (usually none) I have to make repairs.

      I felt like the no opinion was shouted down and people frequently were not respected for their opinion. I’m getting tired of the disrespect I see in politics and it seems to be trickling down.

    • I agree completely, my taxes last year were over $2900 also. Just beware when you make your OPINION known when it comes to the school district, it is frowned on.

      • I replied earlier that your concerns are reasonable and encouraged you to take them to the school board. You are complaining that people won’t support you opinion on this thread. Why not take your argument where it matters?

  4. It’s really too bad that those seniors on fixed income have ever increasing property taxes. I wish there was a cap in place for those 65+. I am saying that as a 34yo.

    • I agree with you Peter. They are getting taxed out of their homes. Put a cap on it when they reach 65 or 70 and let our elders stay in their homes.

  5. I just know this is completely unrelated, but something I would love to see the school do is organize some trash clean up crews of students and help pick up the wrappers and trash that are all over our streets. I know that its not the students that always litter, but it would be great if the school did something like this to invest in the community the way the community is investing in the school. Lets keep Maplewood heading up!

      • Pulled this from link……love it…..
        MRH partnered with The Aging in Place Program through Richmond Heights and they successfully connected the students with elderly homeowners who want to remain in their house, but may need assistance with their yard work.

      • That’s great! I’m not sure by what you mean by posted on the sewers, but I trust it, just haven’t seen it yet. I will say that one day is great, but more is better……Kind of like property taxes.

    • I think this type of service is a great idea Kevin. Our district is an ideal size for this kind of approach. We are not a geographically expansive district, so having the students “giving back” in this fashion would be noticed quickly and would show they are being taught to appreciate the property owners’ support of their education. It would be a learning lesson for the students and would most likely be very appreciated by many of the home owners who are/were skeptical of the tax increase. Kids could have a little flyer to hand out to those inquiring that explains why they are out picking up trash on our streets and improving the appearance of their community. Talk about civic pride……we would be the envy of every district. Now only if we could have the kiddos replace some of our sidewalks and streets!!! Baby steps……lol

  6. So pleased this passed! Thank you to all who voted “yes”. Proud to live in this community!

  7. So now that this passed, I would like to see how this money will be spent.
    Paying for students to take all these trips to me seems excessive, let the parents do fundraisers or pay for it themselves and let the district help for low income families.

    Reply ā†“

    • The money will be spent on continuing to provide the children with amazing learning opportunities including the trips. I’m so impressed with the programming at MRH and happy to be a part of a community that wants to have the BEST school district in the county. Thanks to MRH for the hard work they do daily to meet the kids’ diverse needs!! Thanks for your innovation too.

      • I agree that the district wants what is best for the students but at some point the district has to stop spending spending spending and learn to deal with what they have. So in 3 years they will have their hand out and want another tax increase? And about those trips, why aren’t parents required to help offset the cost? Fundraisers??????????

          • But why not have the parents pay for the trips? I know that I was never required to pay anything for his trip. Seems that would be a way to save money.
            And before anyone says anything, yes, I did have a child go the district and graduate. And yes, I have always had a problem with the spending of the district.

        • I don’t understand the trip fixation. It pretty much already works the way that Susan would apparently like it to work. As an MRH parent, I can say that the parents contribute to the costs of field trips. The more the trip costs, the more we chip in. With a more costly trip, like the 6th graders take, there are indeed fundraisers to help pay for it. I don’t know whether funds come from the district, PTO or other fundraising, but as I understand it, families who can’t afford to contribute are covered.

          I also don’t care for the implication that these trips are some kind of taxpayer-funded luxury. Does the word “trip” connote vacation to some? The trips that my kids have gone on this year have been to Jefferson City, the Lincoln presidential library/museum, the STL Symphony and Cahokia Mounds. All perfectly appropriate and educational. Call them “outings” or whatever you like. Getting out of school to experience and connect with subjects being taught is a good idea and at most a very small part of overall spending.


          • As a taxpayer and a parent I do believe that I am entitled to my opinions and don’t believe that anywhere in my comments did I refer to the trips as a LUXURY.

        • I just paid for my kids to go to Jefferson City. I often pay fees for field trips. Other districts don’t require students to pay anything. Are you aware that enrollment has greatly increased? People are choosing MRH over private schools. Growth is a great thing but it’s not free. I for one am willing to give up a few Starbucks a month to support our district. I also love the way MRH rallies around those less privileged students. There’s Joe’s Place , Weekend on Wheels, Mosaic Services, etc. The students learn service. All of these help support those in need and don’t cost taxpayers a cent. Don’t make generalized assumptions due to lack of information.

          • I don’t disagree that the district has come a long way but I do think that at some point the district has got to put a stop to some of the spending (brick pizza oven, sculptures) and spend more wisely. JUST MY OPINION.

          • The sculptures add such an appeal to the buildings and attract good families. Have never seen a pizza oven. More good families move in -higher property values. Win-win!

          • What do you mean by “good families” and why are “good families” attracted to a school district because of sculptures?

          • I am not saying Joe’s Place doesn’t do good. Due to lack of information, according to the St Louis County web site, it cost Maplewood-Richmond Heights tax payers on 08/17/2006 $260,000 for Land And Building.

        • I have paid hundreds of dollars every school year for my children and for myself to go on school field trips. I have also paid technology fees. Clearly you do not have first-hand information.

          • Most of the sculptures are Brother Mel pieces and were either donated or sold at a deep discount. I’m am unaware of any brick pizza ovens. At the ECC and Elementary the PTO fundraises extensively to help subsidize the cost of field trips so parents only have to pay a small amount, if anything. It sounds like Susan may have outdated or incorrect information. I’d encourage you to reach out to the school district for more information.

    • The parents and PTO do a huge amount of fundraising AND the parents pay for trips. Even when student prices are reduced because of fund raising, adult chaperones pay full price. Your concerns are valid and I encourage you to go to a school board meeting to ask questions. It would be more productive than using this forum and we all benefit from watchful eyes.

  8. I am very pleased this passed. I do caution however that this will be the last time for awhile that I vote for a property tax increase. My hope that this will be sufficient to fund the school for the foreseeable future.

    • It would have been interesting to see an exit poll asking the people who voted to support Prop Y if they are in agreement with you (I believe a lot would agree). The school board isn’t clueless so they must realize this and was part of the reason for why so much effort was put into getting this to pass. Strategically it is a great move on the school board. As home assessments continue to rise in this area, more taxes will be raised each year.

  9. I’m so proud to be a part of the MRH community! Our children are the proof that all the hard work we do, is not in vain. A humongous thank you to the volunteers, district employees, and fellow parents. Great job everyone!

  10. I’m so happy for the employees of the district, the kids in the schools, and the people who spent countless hours working towards this.

    It’s reassuring to know that a large majority of the MRH community believes in what the district has done and that it’s in the best interest to keep the momentum going!

    • Thank you to all those who gave so much of their time to support MRH Prop Y! Congratulations! šŸ™‚