The next Mehlville School Board meeting includes a budget workshop where the district finances and tax rate are assessed. I believe the board deserves to know all aspects of the district's finances before making decisions of this sort.
For this, I would like to put a call out to all the parent organizations in the district to bring a high-level assessment of their contributions to the district over the past few years to the budget workshop and present during the open comments portion.
Being a parent in the district I understand that it is our duty to provide a bit more than the regular tax payer in this regard, however, it is my understanding that parent organizations are picking up the slack in areas the district should be funding. Without this information, the board cannot be expected to make a decision based on the facts. Over the past few years I've seen parent organizations spend money on the district facilities, maintenance, safety, and supplies.
A few examples:
* Safety walkie-talkies during fire drills and other security/safety events
* Smart Boards
* Teacher's supplies - paper, pencils, etc.
I've also heard talk of bus transportation to field trips, and grass and grading for fields in the district (maintenance). Without these true costs, the board cannot make appropriate decisions on how much of a reserve, operating surplus, et al. there really is as these costs are "hidden." I would also encourage the teachers and administrators to present the board with necessary costs that are not reimbursed due to budget shortcomings.
I realize this is short notice, but if you can present yourselves as part of this process, we can all be part of the best decision for the district. If there is any way that I can personally help in this area, please don't hesitate to ask.
The Mehlville school board meets Sept. 25 at the administration building, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road. The tax rate hearing begins at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting starts at 7 p.m.