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Rick+Rice

Rick Rice

Why do you want to be on the FHSD school board?

Due to a large miscalculation in capital expenditures, I believe the Francis Howell School Board needs a member of the business community to help care for the district’s and taxpayer’s financial interest while creating the best possible educational experience for our children. I’m certain my business experience will prove helpful for our school district.

If elected to the board, what issue/topic will be your top priority?

Advocate to end MO Senate Bill 649. The bill is an economic mechanism that could defund any increases in the budgets of the St. Charles County school, police, fire and ambulance districts. Also, the legislature is so poorly written that any voters of a taxing district within St. Charles County could vote to increase the property tax rate but the county assessor would potentially be required to decrease the personal property tax rate to equal the amount on the voted increase. Without the ability to keep up with inflationary cost our St. Charles teachers, police officers, firefighters and the rest of our public employees will have their pay eaten up by inflationary cost.

Create a better selection/purchasing process for all capital expenditures.

Raise teachers, drivers, and staff salaries. These individuals make learning possible for our children. Their salaries should reflect the importance of the role they play in our community.

What are some specific changes you hope to enact while serving on the board?

Certain procedures need to be put in place in order to have a better disciplined bid process. Laying a foundation for a building before you know the cost of the entire building is not a good financial plan for a construction project. I would also advocate for a monthly financial report to be published on the district’s website so that we, the tax payers, can have a visual of where our tax dollars are coming from and where our tax dollars are going.

In recent years, controversy surrounding COVID-19, CRT, controversial literature, etc. has been a hot topic at school board meetings. What do you think the district’s role is when it comes to addressing issues such as these?

I believe that we can and should offer a wide variety of diverse elective courses. When a group of students and educators feel the need for an additional elective, they should have the opportunity to work with the board to make that course a possibility. This ensures that we are meeting the diverse needs of the district and graduating students that are both well-rounded and well-represented. I do not believe that Critical Race Theory needs to be a key component in our district’s curriculum. Our district, and in a broader scope, our country is rich in diversity. As such, I believe our elementary and secondary education should incorporate all factual narratives representative of all of the people in our country. However, I believe a course in CRT is better taught and understood at the university level.

What plans do you have for increasing support for FHSD staff members?

Our teachers are the cornerstone of our children’s education. We want Francis Howell to attract the best and brightest teachers possible. Hiring and retaining these highly-qualified educators give our children the highest possible chance of having a great educational experience. This year inflation is taking a real bite out of our teachers and staff salaries.

Additionally, this year our property values will rise and with the increase the district’s revenue should increase. We need to take the increase and put it towards our teachers, drivers, and staff salaries. These individuals make learning possible for our children. Their salaries should reflect the importance of the role they play in our community.

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