Superintendent, staff ready to hear suggestions, answer questions

To the editor:

This is in response to the letter submitted last week by Mr. John M. Fedchak.

I would like to remind Mr. Fedchak as well as all Mehlville/Oakville community members that we stand ready to receive suggestions and/or answer questions directly at any time. I am more than willing to make myself or one of my staff members available to have discussions upon request.

Planning and implementing a school district budget is a complex process and one that requires chief financial officers to constantly chase a moving target.

Suggestions that appear to be practical approaches often do not address the multifaceted process required to accurately create and manage a school district budget.

Regardless of our projected balances and regardless of unanticipated recalculations by the state that result in additional revenues, the Mehlville School District will still likely need to borrow money on a short-term basis in the fall to cover operating expenses.

This is an annual practice for our district due to reserve balances being less than 18 percent to 20 percent. It should also be noted there is still much uncertainty regarding the state’s ability to fund the foundation formula in 2013 and 2014. It will be wise for Mehlville to approach the coming years with robust balances.

We have definitely been able to significantly move in the right direction and improve our balances over the past number of years. Much of these improvements in balances can be attributed to cost control as opposed to revenue increases from the state.

As the district’s new superintendent, I have no reservation stating that Proposition C had a significant timing problem. Regardless, it was never the advertised intent of that ballot measure to increase district balances. Instead, it was proposed as a way to advance the district beyond its current status.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a sincere belief in a united effort to perpetuate the good things found in this community and inside the Mehlville School District. I will always take responsibility for my leadership and I will always keep my office open to listen and discuss your thoughts. I will continue to ask for your help as we look forward to a bright future for our students and our community.

Superintendent Eric D. Knost

Mehlville School District