It’s time to invest more in children, future of Mehlville School District

To the editor:

I am inspired by young Dylan Lohrke.

I had the opportunity to see him read his letter at the community meeting at Andre’s South on April 1.

If a 7-year-old can write a letter and use his voice in support of his education and that of the thousands of other children in our district, then so can I. It is time for this community to come together and make the education of our children a priority, whether those children are your actual children, grandchildren, neighbors, friends, or simply the future of our community.

I have a hard time understanding how residents can claim the Mehlville School District is looking to fleece taxpayers when we have been recognized as the biggest bang for your buck, and we have the second lowest tax rate in St. Louis County. Some question why the quality of our district isn’t better than it is, but the answer is easy when you look closely at the data.

One piece of data will show you that Lindbergh, which is half our size, has 44 instructional coaches and interventionists that work within the classrooms to reduce teacher-to-student ratios, and to work intensively on math, reading and writing.

Mehlville only has 6.5. Lindbergh’s tax rate is also 71 cents higher than ours.

It doesn’t take much to see in that one example why Mehlville is behind. The sad truth is we aren’t even in a position to consider adding such valuable resources to our schools.

Instead, we will be cutting teaching positions, transportation, gifted services, et cetera, just to scrape by. Our children deserve better. We deserve better.

I am a taxpayer, too, and I believe it is time we invest more in our children and our future in the Mehlville School District.