A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that a highly effective teacher adds as much as $500,000 annually to America's GDP. For Mehlville's classroom teachers, second from the bottom in St. Louis County in pay, that's nearly an 11 to 1 return per highly effective teacher.
It would be interesting to know how many of Mehlville's 700+ teachers are considered "highly effective," but on both extremes, let's look at 1/3 as well as 100%. If only a 3rd are highly effective, at a minimum, that's a return of $100,000,000, and that assumes the other 2/3rds add no value at all.
If 100% of our teachers were highly effective, that would mean a $350,000,000 (350 million) contribution to our country's Gross Domestic Product. That's 3.5 times Mehlville's annual budget. Not many industries can boast that type of contribution to our economy.
Noel Knobloch, our school district's CFO said that he estimates that 60% of our budget remains in our local economy with a multiplier effect of 2-3 times minimum. That means that the money we invest in public education doesn't just disappear into a black hole. To our local economy it means as much as $180,000,000 a year. That's good to know considering that the Mehlville School District is our community's largest employer.
So, whether you are conservative with the numbers or aggressively optimistic, one thing is for sure; Mehlville's number one priority should be on hiring, training, and retaining the highest quality teachers possible. And yes, with 500+ school districts in the state of Missouri, there is a market for highly effective teachers.
Second from the bottom in St. Louis County in pay is not good enough for our teachers and it certainly is not putting our children first.