Letter writer questions exactly how MSBA represents the taxpayers

To the editor:

Wasteful spending?

Having attended the Feb. 28 Board of Education meeting, an item on the agenda was for the board to renew a portion of our existing contract with the Missouri State Boards’ Association that deals with the MSBA providing review and oversight of existing Mehlville School District policies.

The cost to the district for this review service is currently $2,850 and is only part of a larger bundle of services the MSBA is supposed to provide. It is my understanding that the total cost to the district for this membership to the MSBA is approximately $40,000 per year.

I realize the $2,850 is a drop in the bucket compared to the annual district budget that is in the neighborhood of $102 million, but the $40,000, if figure is correct, annually is no chump change either.

However, besides the money issue that we taxpayers pay for, I was concerned about some comments made by board member Ron Fedorchak. Mr. Fedorchak pointed out that he had the privilege of experiencing on several occasions the failure of the MSBA to fulfill its obligations in the contract. He additionally stated that it provided policy reviews that were neither needed nor requested.

It is my understanding that new school board members in the state of Missouri are required by an act of the Legislature to attend mandated MSBA training. Also, the MSBA website represents that the association aids all — students, school districts, administrators and parents (taxpayers) — in better educational opportunities. Really?

Nothing could be further from the truth.

By checking its published agendas, it becomes clear that the MSBA is little more than a lobbying establishment for the public education system in our state. Nowhere in its published materials or on its website does it list tasking employees as advocates for the taxpayers.

The majority of the MSBA is comprised of retired school administrators and educators. Hello — how does a board comprised of those people represent the taxpayer?

And by Mr. Fedorchak’s comments, how does it help the school board members?

This type of representation is in lockstep with the rest of the educational cartel of this state. Maybe we should ask the taxpayers of the Rockwood School District their opinion of the MSBA?

Unless Mehlville administrators can provide in specific detail the cost/benefit analysis of belonging to the MSBA, I cannot find a reason for the school board to approve any more spending with the MSBA.

Greg Frigerio