Our Call: Lindbergh’s finances well-run; Lake excels as leader

Editorial

Lindbergh Schools is asking the public to vote for a $105 million no-tax-rate-increase bond issue next month, called Prop R for Safe and Ready.

The bond issue would not increase the district’s current tax rate, but extend current bonds for five years.

The money would go to build a new and expanded Lindbergh High School and add secure entrances to all the district’s schools that don’t already have them.

Voters repeatedly have recognized the district’s stewardship of their tax dollars, responding favorably when Lindbergh has asked for support.

But this will be the first time voters have gone to the polls for the district’s new leadership — Superintendent Tony Lake and Chief Financial Officer Joël Cracchiolo.

In Lake’s first year in office, he has shown that he knows how to respond to the community’s wants and needs through the 82 stops on his “Listening and Learning Tour,” and another 50 stops at organizations to answer questions about Prop R.

Audiences who attended those sessions came away impressed with Lake’s commitment to educating “Generation Next” and “Generation Z” for the jobs of the future, which haven’t even been invented yet.

He’s set the district up for the next few years with a five-year strategic plan, a demographic study, a new reliance on district committees filled with parents and residents to make decisions, tuition-free full-day kindergarten and, potentially, Prop R.

Cracchiolo also has shown she is a worthy successor running the numbers at Lindbergh.

Last year, she was named “Business Official of the Year” by the Missouri Association of School Business Officials. She is a certified public accountant and serves on the board of directors of the Missouri Securities Investment Program.

Fiscal stewardship has been a cornerstone of Lindbergh, as the district successfully weathered the Great Recession while enrollment surged.

At that time of budget-cutting, the district began a five-year reign as the top district in the state by test scores.

And the district chose to return millions of dollars to taxpayers by refinancing bonds for lower interest.

Most recently, the district chose to address its facilities needs over calls for an operational tax-rate increase.

Given Lindbergh voters’ history and Lake’s more recent success, it certainly wouldn’t surprise us to see Prop R win at the polls.