Columbia public schools are 7-and-a-half million dollars richer after voters approved a 40-cent tax levy in Tuesday’s election.
The increase will help the school system maintain current programs and staffing. Michelle Baumstark, the director of community relations for Columbia public schools, says the tax increase will help the issue of overcrowded classrooms as enrollment numbers are up while school resources are down. This issue, she says, has been a good and bad thing.
“It’s a great thing because it means our community is growing and we’re a vibrant community but it also means we have to address the issues with capacity in our buildings and issue of needing to have correct number of teachers to be able to handle those students,” said Baumstark.
Over the last four years, the Columbia public school’s budget has been reduced by 18.5 million dollars and 250 staff members. The Columbia public schools will propose their final budget in June and Baumstark says to expect changes as early as August.