Why hasn’t Mehlville been a high-performing school district all along?

To the editor:

This is a taxpayer’s response to the Mehlville school board regarding a possible 94-cent tax-rate increase.

What makes you think raising taxes will transform Mehlville into a high-performing school district? Why hasn’t this district been a high-performing school district all along?

More money does not equate to better teacher performance. More money does not equate to better student performance. More money does not equate to better parent involvement. Only the people involved can improve their performance with integrity, desire and motivation. Higher taxes won’t buy these attributes.

The board talks about the cost would be equivalent to about a pack of gum per day — that’s still $200 to $500 for the taxpayer.

That proposed increase in taxes would never be reduced. Doesn’t the board know of the economic picture that faces all government entities today — unemployment, foreclosures, layoffs and higher cost of necessities.

One teacher stated the need for new textbooks. Superintendent Terry Noble stated his decision to accept his new contract was not about money. Why not donate his $44,000 raise to buy the textbooks? Why not use the $10,000 moving allowance allocated for Mr. Noble, if he were to move — to buy supplies for students. Mr. Noble will never move into this district — his taxes in De Soto are considerably lower than Mehlville’s.

Ken Smith — COMPASS II Facilitating Team member — lambasted the district’s expenditures per pupil. What makes him think more money per pupil will improve the ranking? Mr. Smith states they are going to mobilize and knock on every door.

My answer to that is the taxpayers are mobilized and are going to knock on every door to tell the people this proposed tax increase is insane. My suggestion to the board: Don’t use one dime of taxpayer money to flaunt this proposal to the public.

The board needs to look at the staff of Mr. Noble — deputy superintendent, assistant superintendents, directors, principals and assistant principals. Can’t the district operate with less personnel?

Large corporations are doing it every day.

Chief Financial Officer Noel Knobloch offers these facts: 1. No increase in sales tax. 2. Less than 1 percent interest on investments. 3. Three percent drop in state funding. 4. Enrollment to re-main flat. 5. Decrease in federal funding. 6. Three percent in-crease in employee salaries. 7. Increase in employer contributions to state retirement and medical insurance for employees.

And the board wants the taxpayer to foot the bill for these deficits. Ask the unemployed taxpayer what he thinks.

Maybe board President Tom Diehl and the rest of the board can afford a pack of gum a day — that’s not in my budget.

There is one way to solve this budget problem — live within the budget you have now and insist that employees do also and that they be thankful they are still employed.

Felix C. Washburn

south county

Editor’s note: Mr. Noble last week gave up the contract he previously accepted that would’ve earned him an annual salary of $226,000.