Residents in the Edwardsville School District are petitioning to try and force a public vote on a $10-million tax increase. Opponents of the plan, which has already passed the Edwardsville School Board, say it was approved via backdoor referendum last month and they want a public referendum in March.
The effort is lead by former Edwardsville School Board member Mike Firsching who says people in the district don’t want a tax increase and many who signed the petition didn’t even know the board took the action. Firsching’s group turned in petitions to the Madison County Clerk’s Office last week containing more than 35-hundred signatures. It needed roughly 34-hundred to place the issue before voters. The Edwardsville School Board meets again on December 21 and can either drop the bond issue or approve the public vote. The district has said that it continues to struggle financially thanks in part to a continued decrease in state education funding, and the bond issue was approve to try to maintain its services in the short-term.