To the editor:
Mehlville Board of Education member Karl Frank has caused quite a stir with his one-dimensional view regarding teacher compensation.
I am glad to see others speaking out in opposition to this view. I have several issues with Mr. Frank’s extreme views, especially when they ultimately affect me as a taxpayer.
We moved to Mehlville due to reasonable tax rates. We found homes in the Lindbergh, Kirkwood and Webster Groves school districts were not as affordable.
In his recent letter to the editor, Mr. Frank compared public school salary to compensation at charter schools. Mehlville teacher compensation should be compared and aligned with the midpoint of salaries of schools within their peer group.
Maybe COMPASS — Charting the Oakville-Mehlville Path to Successful Schools — could focus on ways to keep qualified teachers without huge increases in spending.
I would think the answers would involve asking teachers to identify ways to enhance their positive work experiences.
The irony with Mr. Frank’s views is I feel we already have excellent teachers. I think Mr. Frank would agree with this. Raising pay to unrealistic levels is not the only solution to getting and keeping qualified teachers. During school board elections, why do teachers display signs saying “Go Karl, Go” in their yard? I believe this is partly because having him on the board is their meal ticket to higher pay and future salary increases. I would think most teachers supported Mr. Frank’s re-election.
While discussing how to best spend our tax dollars, Mr. Frank has the responsibility to represent the taxpayers’ views. Board members are gatekeepers whose job is to manage the school district responsibly.
They have the fiduciary responsibility to manage the school system, so the focus is on improving the education of the children while keeping in mind the reality of the school district’s revenue.