Honorable NAME HERE:
It has been reported in the news lately that some members of the Legislature wondered about the impact of recent cuts to education. I am writing to let you know that these cuts have certainly had an adverse impact on the Webster Groves School District and its students.
Ninety percent of the revenue in the Webster Groves School District budget comes from local taxpayers. We don't get much from the state - about eight percent. However, every cut in state funding means we must eliminate programs or resources for our children or ask our local residents to shoulder even more of the burden. We've had very little state funding since 1992 and have worked hard to create a fiscally responsible program that supports instruction. All other programs not mandated by the state are self-supporting in our district.
For example, the state cut Parents as Teachers dollars. In our district, that has resulted in dramatically fewer PAT visits to families. That this is occurring even though study after study has shown that there is no better investment in public education than early childhood education is tragic.
State cuts to MOREnet have resulted in more costs passed on to our district and the elimination of important services. The state requires that we have a technology plan and we strive to provide modern technology for our students. We receive no funding for our technology program.
Just like many districts across the state, assessed property values here have continued to decline. For the last two years, the Webster Groves School District's operating expenses increased less than two percent. This includes health care costs, utility increases and salaries. Our current budget reflects similar trends. We have worked hard to hold down spending and make the most of every dollar received.
We continue to look for ways to stretch our resources to ensure strong schools. When the state cuts funding, all of our students areaffected. We must stretch our dollars even further and it becomes that much harder for our district to support student success. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, please don't hesitate to call me.