Parents of students ‘need to shoulder more financial responsibility’

To the editor:

I am responding to Mehlville Board of Education member Jean Pretto’s recent


As Jean admits saying, “If you can’t or don’t want to pay the taxes in Mehlville School District, move to a district with lower taxes.” Does she really feel mentioning the words, “lower taxes” or “Ladue School District” makes her distressing comment more palatable?

What she doesn’t understand is her suggestion that we should pick up stakes and uproot ourselves if we can’t accommodate a school district’s litany of wish lists is narrow-minded and inconsiderate. District residents should be allowed to voice our concerns without being told to “get out” if you can’t afford or disagree. The concerns that I relayed about the financial constraints of many seniors obviously fell on deaf ears.

If parents of children educated in the district want more for their children, should a senior do without medication, heat, food or other non-luxury items, to see that a child gets a bus ride to school or band members get $64,000 band uniforms?

The Mehlville School District has wasted countless tax dollars in the past and it seems from school board meeting accounts, are planning on doing more of the same. Just the fact that the teachers were given raises without the funds to pay for them is an example of poor financial management. Many ways were suggested to the board to gain financial responsibility without a tax hike, but nothing was even considered — not a minute of discussion.

In closing, in her rebuttal letter, Jean mentioned that she apologized to me personally. I left the Aug. 17 meeting very shortly after my two-minute speech because of personal business, so I was not there to hear any apology.

She does not need to apologize to me personally, but to the people in the district who feel that most members of this board are self-serving. The majority of school board members have children past or present who have utilized the system. They prefer to spread the taxes to all, as opposed to those who actually use the school district offerings.

Parents with school-age children attending Mehlville schools need to shoulder more financial responsibility.

We love all children and want them educated, but not at the expense of the unemployed, seniors and all others who have other major financial hardships at this time.