South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville board member says stance on staff salaries unchanged

To the editor:

As one of seven volunteer members of the Mehlville Board of Education, I think it is important that I am clear in my beliefs as it relates to staff salaries.

It has not changed since I first ran for the board in 2004, again in 2005 and again for re-election in 2008.

After my first election in 2005, I laid it out in full detail in a document called “The Frank Plan” where I stood on public education and Mehlville’s priorities. Most of that document was published in this newspaper when it was unveiled.

My No. 1 priority, as written in the plan was, “Classroom Teachers: … Our children cannot learn without the best and brightest teachers enlightening them … and we must pay them, and pay them well. Not just on par with the other districts in our area, but above and beyond.”

I do not believe teachers are paid too much, and I believe it is a logical fallacy to try and compare what one profession gets over another in society. Teaching is not what it was like in 1950.

When hours worked, weekends, holidays, sick pay and vacations are taken into consideration, there is hardly any difference in time off between teaching and other professions. It is a full-time job, with full-time hours, for a whole year.

I can go in to an enormous amount of detail, but I won’t in this venue. However, it is important that something is known about our goals — as stated in the COMPASS (Charting the Oakville-Mehlville Path to Advance Successful Schools) community-engagement process — and my personal goals for the Mehlville School District. We want our teacher pay to someday be in the top 25 percent in the St. Louis County area. Since we are not even in the top 75 percent right now, we have a long way to go.

Much to-do has been made about charter schools across the country. Many of those schools are paying their teachers more than $100,000.

I believe our best and most effective teachers should be making that as well, and our worst teachers should be evaluated out of the industry, which our district does on a regular basis.

Right now, our highest-paid teachers are paid $30,000 less than that, and they are the very few that have doctorates in education with at least 17 years of experience and no educational reimbursement from the district.

If you agree, or disagree, please let me know.  Call me at (314) 375-6167, or e-mail me at If you would like, I can provide you a copy of “The Frank Plan,” and I can even record our conversation and send it to you for your records.

Keep this in mind when you call: The level of brain drain from our district because of our inability to acquire and retain excellent teachers is staggering and the losers are both the children and our community.

Karl Frank Jr.


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