Saturday, February 03, 2007


The View From
The Cheap Seats

By Jerry Haferkamp

Although I make sure these columns are factual, this week’s column may be based on erroneous assumptions. I ask any member of the St. Charles Board of Education to please respond with corrections or explanations as necessary. I called a member for clarification, but she didn’t respond.

The Board has unilaterally taken a benefit from our teachers that reside outside the district. They will no longer allow their children to attend our schools. The Board claims this will save $224,000, or $5,700 per student. The action affects about 40 students.

If these students were in two classrooms of 20 students each, the classes could be cancelled and two teachers jobs eliminated. Yes, there would be savings. But these students are dispersed throughout the system, so there would be no cancelled classes or jobs eliminated. There would be no difference in operating expenses. Costs for heating/cooling, janitorial and maintenance, teacher salaries and administration would remain unchanged. They don’t ride the buses, so there would be no savings there. These students do not place a burden on our district.

The fact is that not only would this move not save money, it would actually result in less per-pupil funding received from the State of Missouri.

This action also may cause us to lose valued teachers and keep teachers that live just across a street from our boundaries from applying for positions here.

Moreover, these teachers were told their children could attend our schools prior to many of them accepting positions here. I was raised when a person stood by their word. We, as a community through the school board, gave these teachers our word. We, as a community, should stick by it.

There is a School Board meeting on Thursday, February 8th. It opens to the public at 7:30p.m.

I would like to address the Board, but unfortunately I can’t attend. I would like to have them explain exactly how this is advantageous to us. I hope some of you do attend and speak up to ask the Board to reverse this action.

Since you are reading this paper, I will assume you care about your city. That means you will have to get to the polls for the mayoral primary. You know that the Dark Side will, and we can’t afford a continuation of this administration.

That’s the view from the cheap seats.