Brentwood School District Financially Stressed, Superintendent Faulkner Says
Superintendent Faulkner has been taking his message to teachers and parents, trying to help them understand what has happened and what is being done about it.
New Brentwood School District superintendent David Faulkner inherited a district in the black, but only thanks to a $739,000 budget cut the school board made in February of this year.
Then superintendent, Charlie Penberthy, explained the situation in a March 9 Patch article.
In a meeting with Patch on Oct. 28, Faulkner, said he knew what he was getting into when he took the job. He’s been meeting with Brentwood School District staff members and PTOs for the past six months, explaining the situation.
"We have been addressing the situation for the last three years," Faulkner said. "Our revenues have followed the direction of the economy, but unfortunately, our expenses have not been as flexible."
He said the staff has heard it before, but it’s new for many parents, who have always thought the district is well funded.
He said property values went down for the first time ever in the 2009 county assessment, and then went down again in 2011.
In addition, because of the Hancock Amendment, taxes for the schools are held even lower. He said voters in 444 Missouri school districts have voted to waive the Hancock, but that hasn't happened in Brentwood.
Also in 2009, a flaw in the legislation required the tax rates to be set by September 1 instead of October 1. The tax rates were set too low because the preliminary assessed property valuation was too high. The district lost more than $1 million of revenue in one year. Because that was not the fault of the district, the district has been allowed to recover those funds.
He added that schools get nothing from TIF properties. When homes are removed for a TIF development, it removes tax revenue from the houses, which are replaced by a TIF that pays no school taxes. When that happens more of the burden is shifted to the remaining houses.
Tomorrow: Steps the district is taking to improve the situation.