INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence School District is asking voters to support a levy increase to give teachers and staff a raise. 

During a special election on Tuesday, Aug. 8 voters will consider a proposal to increase the district’s operating levy by up to 20 cents. The money would be used to increase staff salaries, create additional positions within the district and help fill hard-to-staff roles.

Last December the school board voted to move to a four-day school week in the 2023-24 school year to retain teachers and attract more staff to the district.  

According to the ballot language, the district is looking to increase its operating levy by 20 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, but if the measure is approved, the district says it plans to only raise the operating levy by 8 cents, instead of the full 20 cents. 

If approved, its estimated to generate $9-10 million for the district.

ISD also plans to lower its debt service levy by 40 cents, instead of the 30 cents listed on ballot language. This would decrease the districts overall tax levy by 32 cents, dropping the levy from $5.4371 to $5.1171. 

If approved by voters, the salary increases would be implemented in the 2024-2025 school year. Salary schedules would be finalized next spring after the district finishes negotiations with each union. 

Polls for the Aug. 8 special election will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voters can find a full list of polling locations on the Jackson County Election Board website.