Residents have collective responsibility to fund high-quality education

Sue Jernigan, in

, states that many proponents have written or spoken on behalf of Mehlville schools, but few have “written or talked on behalf of the forgotten taxpayer.”

Ms. Jernigan states, “No longer can this burden be placed on everyone in the district to finance ‘complete’ education.”

Public education is not a responsibility that we taxpayers can opt out of. Even if citizens could opt out of paying taxes to support public education, I believe most would continue their support in full.

I suppose I can be classified as a Mehlville School District supporter. Does this mean that I enjoy paying taxes? No. Does this mean that the taxes I pay don’t stretch my family budget? No.

My support for public schools is similar to my support of public roads, police, fire/emergency medical services and many other common services which are supported by taxation.

We may use private alternatives to some of these public services, but it is still in our best interest and our responsibility to support their public counterparts.

My children have all graduated from high school. My family no longer receives direct benefit from the Mehlville School District. But just as there are many roads we help maintain that we haven’t driven on, fire/emergency medical services we’ve never used, police assistance we’ve never called, it is our collective responsibility to fund high-quality public education even if we don’t directly use it.

The Mehlville School District has squeezed the fat out of its budget. Recent cuts will cut heavily into meat.

This is not a good thing for any resident of the district.

Ask most real-estate agents what effect support of local public services, especially public schools, has on property values.