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District Prop U on the April 2024 Election Ballot

BW PropU Thank You kWerthmuller

April 3, 2024 UPDATE: It is with great excitement and appreciation that we share that Proposition U, our zero tax rate increase bond issue, passed yesterday by an overwhelming 89 percent! This will bring $65 million into our plans for upgrading, repairing and renovating our schools and grounds. 

We are grateful to the University City community, parents and staff who put in the extra time to ensure that the important details of this measure were shared - and the wonderful show of support and trust from our community! 

For further updates, please visit

One U City Info Mtg

UPDATE: One U City is excited to host two Prop U community information sessions at Brittany Woods Middle School, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 26th and Tuesday, March 5th. Prop U is the District's zero tax rate increase bond issue that will be on the ballot for all U City residents in the April 2nd election. If approved, Prop U will not raise the tax rate but will provide the District access to additional funds for repairs and renovations in all schools. We hope you can join us to learn more, ask questions, and share your priorities for improvements in our schools. Please register so they can best prepare:

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

After 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

Proposed 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 stacked About 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).

Prop U Yard Sign