Cuts coming to Mehlville School District - KMOV.com

Cuts coming to Mehlville School District

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

Teaching positions are being cut by the Mehlville School District.

The school board approving drastic cuts to the budget deficit by over $4 million. District leaders told News 4 the cuts were simply unavoidable but one parent argued that it's time to fight for another obvious option.

"I'm going to say something very unpopular. We should have a tax increase,” said Mary Henson, a parent at Mehlville High School.

She added that that's the only way to counter the budget cuts.

"That will take care of our teachers who are very valuable and our students who are also very valuable,” she said.

District leaders say they've tried that. Back in 2011 voters rejected a levy increase. Now, with an almost $6 million dollar deficit some changes had to be made.

"We're trying to go where the least amount of pain is for the classroom, but we did reduce 23.5 teachers,” said interim superintendent, Dr. Norm Ridder.

Those teachers will be cut through attrition. The district is also charging students who live less than a mile from their school $218 a year to ride the school bus.

Students on free and reduced lunch will be able to ride for free. Athletic and activity fees will also go up from $30 to $100 dollars per student.

"The students brought up that idea because they didn't want to cut off any kind of activities,” Ridder said.

Still, parents like Henson aren't on board with the changes.

"It puts an unfair load on parents who have more than one child,” she said.

The new plan goes into effect in the beginning of July.

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