Letter writer doesn’t share Gaines’ enthusiasm for summer school


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:
The Call’s Sept. 7 article about the Mehlville School District’s way of “making money” praises the vision and efforts of Superintendent Chris Gaines’ expansion of summer school.
The main purpose of this effort is to increase revenue to the school district. Last year, for 16 days of summer school, Mehlville made $100,000 in profit, based on an average daily attendance of 74. This year, the district made a larger profit, though the final numbers are not yet in.
This “profit” is a result of the state funding formula that sends more money to schools if they can increase their attendance, including summer school. So, in reality, we, the state taxpayers, are providing the moneys for Mehlville to fund this effort. It’s unfortunate that summer school is used as a pawn to spend taxpayers’ money.
The article refers to last year’s $100,000 as “profit.” One hopes that all of Mehlville’s increased costs for buses, gas, staffing, et cetera, was taken into account in determining the profit figure.
Since my taxes are funding the program, I don’t share the same enthusiasm as does the writer and Superintendent Gaines.
Mark Flanagan
Editor’s note: More than 1,600 students attended Mehlville’s summer school this year and more than 1,400 students attended last year. Last year, the state formula for average daily attendance, or ADA, of summer school added 74 ADA onto Mehlville’s attendance for the regular school year.