Mehlville parent has concerns about Prop A

To the editor:

As a Mehlville School District parent, I have concerns about the upcoming Prop A tax increase up for election on the Feb. 7 ballot.

My first concern is the woeful underestimation of how much money was needed for Prop P four years ago. The voters in the district approved Prop P for an amount that turned out to be millions of dollars short of what was actually and eventually needed.

Will that happen with Prop A?

I also have concerns about specific points in the ballot language. The language doesn’t limit spending to the 11 points listed on the ballot. There is nothing that can stop the dis-trict from expanding their spending to other areas if the increase is passed.

The district wants to use the tax increase to lower class size. How? Right now, class size, at least at the elementary level, is 20:1. Frankly I don’t see a problem with that ratio.

But for the sake of debate, let’s say the district wants to lower the class size to 15: If a second grade at one of the elementary schools has 60 second-graders split among three classrooms, lowering the ratio to 15:1 would require a fourth classroom. Are there any elementary schools with extra classrooms sitting empty? No? Then where would this new class go?

The district wants to use this increase to replace loss of desegregation money. Desegregation is a 25-year-old experiment that has never worked. Why would a school district take money that resulted from what was surely a temporary situation and become dependent upon it?

Prop P was used to upgrade technology in the district and now the district is asking for more money for technology. There are classrooms full of computers sitting empty in a district middle school; technology provided by Prop P money that is now going to waste.

I can’t tell anyone how to vote. I encourage all Mehlville District parents to consider the points I have made and ask questions of their own.

Deborah Wirtel

Oakville