Reader asks how Mehlville can be trusted with revenue from Prop ‘Rip-off’

To the editor:

You the taxpayer, not an eighth-grader, will have a decision to make Nov. 3 on the Mehlville School District’s Prop R.

That decision is yours and yours alone. This is an important decision that will, according to Superintendent Chris Gaines and his fellow supporters, determine the children of the district’s future and your home value. Before you make your choice I think it best if we clarify some issues that the district and Dr. Gaines have neglected to provide you to make the correct choice.

Let’s begin with the head cheerleader, Mr. Dan Fowler.

We will not be able to retain “rock-star” teachers. News flash, the comparable districts have close to the same years of teacher experience. Checking the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website, the average years of experience in 2014 was 13.4, 13.2, 13.5 for Lindbergh, Mehlville and Rockwood, respectively. So if Lindbergh and Rockwood pay better, shouldn’t the years of experience be higher, say like Clayton, which is 16.5.

Then there’s the real-estate agents joining the party. Home values will go down they claim. Right.

How many of you have seen your real-estate tax bill go down since you’ve been in the district — excluding the years of the Great Recession, which had nothing to do with school districts.

A little check on median sales price of homes on the Trulia website —

— on Sept. 30 in the following ZIP codes was an eye-opener. Median sales price in 63128 was $275,023.

ZIP code 63126, the one that is the best place to raise a family, $181,359. Amazing.

Finally, the Mehlville website claims one way it has reduced expenses was by cutting 121 teachers since 2004.

Mehlville has also declined in enrollment from 11,727 in 2004 to 10,515 in 2015. Why wouldn’t you reduce staff?

Overcrowding will become an issue if Prop R is not passed. Since 2004, the student to teacher ratio has yet to go over 20:1. In fact, in 2014 it was 16:1.

The above are just some examples of Mehlville School District at its finest. If the district neglects to provide you with all the information to make an intelligent decision on which way to vote, how can you trust the district with the additional revenue from Prop “Rip-off.”

The choice is yours.

Greg Frigerio

Concord

Editor’s note: Greg Frigerio is a member of the Mehlville School District’s Facilities Committee.