• Thank You Prop U

    “Thank you” for Proposition U’s Overwhelming 88.5 Percent Passage

    Grateful for an overwhelming 88.5% show of support for the District’s Proposition U bond issue, District leaders say “thank yous” to voters for their amazing $65 million “endorsement.” And a special thanks to the parents and volunteers who helped get the word out to our community, including Co-Chairs Angela McManus and Lauren Wright-Jones; Treasurer Lisa Brenner and members Sunny Bellows, Emily Edwards, David Harris, Traci Moore; One U. City parents and members of the University City Education Foundation along with Development Director Debbie Chase.
    The most important way we can thank our community is to deliver on our promise of renovating and reimagining targeted areas of our facilities. Work is underway as, immediately after passage, the Board of Education authorized work to start on playground upgrades at Jackson Park and Flynn Park, expanding upon the work already underway at play areas at  Barbara C. Jordan, Pershing and Julia Goldstein.

    It’s an exciting time for District students and staff as we prepare to make important changes that will positively impact the quality of their educational experience. Strong schools help build stronger communities. Thank you, again, for your continued support as we work together to make great things happen for University City children and families.
    It often takes a project like this to remind us of how very fortunate we are to live, work and learn, in the progressive community of University City. Please stay tuned at www.ucityschools.org/propu where we will continue to post updates and maintain a dashboard that will help our community follow our progress. 

    Click here to link to the video above.

    District Places Prop U on the April 2024 Election Ballot

    The Zero Tax Rate Increase Bond Issue for Academic Programming, Safety and Facilities Upgrades in all Schools

    PropU Yard SignAfter a thorough review of facilities district wide, the Board of Education of The School District of University City (SDUC) voted to place Proposition U (Prop U) on the April 2, 2024, election ballot.

    Prop U is a $65 million zero tax rate increase bond issue, meaning that tax rates will NOT increase as a result of this measure. Should it be approved by voters, Prop U funds would allow for targeted improvements across all schools in the areas of Academic Programming (e.g. indoor/outdoor classrooms), Safety (e.g. entrance vestibules), Infrastructure (e.g. roofing, flooring, grounds) and Athletics (e.g. multi-purpose fields/track at University City High and the field at Brittany Woods Middle School). 

    Superintendent Dr. Sharonica L. Hardin-Bartley said, “Our students and teachers work hard and deserve safe, healthy and modern learning spaces. Bond issues are the only way to address the needs of our aging facilities.” She added, “Missouri School Improvement Process’ (MSIP 6) Annual Performance Reporting (APR) results for our schools show performance increases across core subject areas, particularly in math. Scores for African-American students are rising, demonstrating gains in closing the achievement gap. U. City Schools also registered the second-highest increase in enrollment in St. Louis County. We have a lot to celebrate and there’s more work to be done.”

    Hardin-Bartley says the Board reached its decision to present Proposition U 2024 on January 18, based on three years of facility reports showing critical declines and student, staff and community feedback from a series of seven engagement forums in 2023. “Every decision we (District) make is with our students at the center, which is certainly the case with this bond issue. Our staff and community have helped develop proposed project lists to address critical needs. We want to act now to prevent further decline of our facilities and protect the community’s investment in our schools,” she said.

    It’s been 11 years since the District’s last bond issue, nearly the course of a child’s full K-12 experience. If voters approve, district leaders say Prop U will pick up where the previous bond issue left off and add safety and security upgrades district wide.

    Board President Matt Bellows said, “Bond issues seldom cover everything that is needed, which means that some maintenance must be deferred to a later time. After reviewing three years of facility reviews, we have been able to pinpoint repairs, upgrades  and preventative maintenance needed in all schools.” He added, “Improving the exteriors of targeted buildings, playgrounds, parking lots and athletic fields are just as important. We want our public to see that the outside of our buildings reflect the great work happening inside our classrooms.”

    Bellows acknowledges that Prop U will not cover all needs (total needs estimates exceed $88 million), but if approved, “The $65 million will ensure critical repairs to high-risk areas of our aging facilities and refine our spaces to make them safer, more comfortable for students, staff and community.”

    Hardin-Bartley added that results of independent audits continuously demonstrate the District’s fiscal expertise and its bond issue record shows projects completed efficiently and in a timely manner. “Our Strategic Plan continues to provide a framework that ensures every dollar is put where it will make the most difference for students and staff. Through community partnership, creativity and innovation – we are committed to making great things happen for the students and staff of U. City Schools,” she said.

    More information about the bond issue is available at www.ucityschools.org/121423BoardDocs-PropU.

    Ballot Language: 

    Shall the Board of Education of the School District of University City, St. Louis County, Missouri, borrow money for the purpose of constructing, renovating, repairing, expanding, improving, furnishing and equipping school sites, buildings and related facilities for school purposes in the District, including, but not limited to, building upgrades for academic programming at all schools, safety and security improvements at elementary schools and Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center, roof repairs throughout school sites, and multi-purpose athletic facility upgrades at University City High School in the amount of Sixty Five Million Dollars ($65,000,000) and issue general obligation bonds for the payment thereof, resulting in an estimated increase to the debt service property tax levy of zero cents ($0.00) per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the District is estimated to remain unchanged from the current debt service levy of 73.80 cents ($0.7380) per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property. 

    District logo stackedAbout The School District of University City: 

    The District was founded in 1868, years prior to the incorporation of University City. The District was formally established in 1911. Today, there are 2,745 (including 145 PreK) students in seven schools, grades K-12.

    Bond Issue History:

    In 2013, voters made it possible for the District to make extensive repairs in every school, but needs were significant, and some maintenance was necessarily deferred.

    In 2009, a bond issue helped to rebuild two of the District’s oldest schools, Pershing and Barbara C. Jordan Elementaries (opened Aug. 2012).



    Center Spread of March 2024 PRIDE Newspaper - full issue is available online at www.ucityschools.org/PRIDE.

    CenterSpread from Pride Spring 2024 - 300d