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 still providing best bang for the buck

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

Over the years, we’ve heard many outlandish statements uttered by Mehlville Board of Education members during meetings.

But we were a little taken aback by board member Lori Trakas’ comparison last week of the Mehlville School District to the country of Greece.

Mehlville administrators and boards certainly have made many mistakes over the years — name a public body that hasn’t. And the Call has not been hesitant to criticize the district over the years when we believed it was warranted.

But to compare Mehlville to Greece is simply beyond the pale. Greece suffers from large-scale corruption and a lack of transparency in government operations, among other well-documented issues.

Like we said, Mehlville has had more than its share of problems in the past, particularly with transparency, but those issues have never risen to the level of corruption of a country such as Greece.

As the district’s new superintendent, Chris Gaines, pointed out last week, Mehlville needs to look to the future, not the past.

Continuing with her comparison of Mehlville to Greece, Trakas said, “Like Greece, MSD has proven it is incapable of effective, efficient use of the resources it has been provided.”

To the contrary, Mehlville tied for tops in the state when measuring return on investment in a 2011 study.

The study by the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, found that Mehlville provided an above-average bang for its buck relative to other districts statewide.

Trakas also cited what she contended was Mehlville’s “relentless quest for increased taxes.” Yet, the school board hasn’t placed a ballot measure before voters since November 2010 — nearly five years ago.

Trakas concluded by saying, “Giving MSD (Mehlville School District) more money by increasing money on its patrons is, in the end, the quintessential definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

A strong school district is the foundation of any community. We contend that not properly funding your school district is the quintessential definition of insanity.

Mehlville has a proven track record of using its limited funds effectively.

No one wants to pay more in taxes, but we believe Mehlville residents, if given the opportunity, will step up and support their school district.

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