Reader urges voters to back Prop R to keep Mehlville schools competitive

To the editor:

My granddaughter is a senior a Oakville High School and recently stopped by the house to discuss Prop R with me.

She urged me to write a letter to the Call to express her frustrations with the cuts in school programs she has observed over the past four years.

After reviewing several letters written over the past several weeks, it is extremely gratifying to see how many involved parents and students are expressing their support as well as their frustration with comments of members of the school board and the lack of support from legislative leaders who represent the people of our school district.

Letters like the one from Ronnie Priefer really summarize the efforts that most parents are willing to do to support our schools and cut through ridiculous statements such as the one from one letter writer that parents “need to shoulder more financial responsibility.”

Ronnie also pointed out the number of teachers — 120 — the district has lost, and the $58 million already cut from the budget.

The teachers Mehlville has lost have moved on to districts that have a higher regard for public education and are willing to invest in teacher salaries and upgraded technology.

As another Call letter writer stated, we are living in a global economy, and students are no longer just competing with the student at the next desk, but with the student at the desk 10,000 miles away. I will not bore you with any more facts, but please research where Missouri stands in educational ranking in the United States, and where the United States ranks in education skills now versus 20 years ago on a global level.

Not everyone chooses to send their children to parochial schools or private high schools for religious of financial reasons, but those parents who do choose to send their children to these schools, should not be exempt from supporting Prop R.

I believe that this has been part of the problem as to why there has not been a tax increase to support public education in the past 15 years.

Suggesting teachers not get a raise for the next four years will only drive more teachers out of the district. Most of us have been affected positively by some teacher we encountered during our school years that made learning fun, and prompted us with the desire to learn more and realize our full potential.

While protecting property values and keeping businesses in the district are valid reasons to support Prop R, the need to at least maintain a quality education system that keeps up with the changing work skills necessary to compete in today’s business and social environment are just as important.

Please support Prop R whether or not you have kids or grandkids in the district.

It’s the right thing to do to keep our district competitive.