It’s time for school district to make hard but realistic fiscal choices

To the editor:

Mehlville School District board members and administrators speak of dire consequences without a 94-cent tax-rate increase.

The same doomsday scenario was sold to taxpayers by the Mehlville Fire Protection District several years ago after a community-engagement process run by the same public relations firm — UNICOM•ARC — that currently is facilitating the Mehlville School District COMPASS II meetings shaped the FACTS meetings to arrive at the predetermined desired outcome of higher taxes.

Voters soon afterward elected two new board members who reversed that tax hike yet still have a high-quality fire district.

It is time for the school district to make similar hard but realistic fiscal choices.

Funding quality public education is the responsibility of all taxpayers, including those of us with no children. It is possible to provide high quality education without every desired item on the wish list.

Many public school districts as well as parochial and inner-city private schools across the country provide top-quality education on far less than taxpayers currently provide the Mehlville School District.

Perhaps board members and administrators should take a few lessons from those districts and the MFPD in setting realistic priorities and fiscal restraint.

Mary McGinnis