Record number of teachers leaving Mehlville schools -

Record number of teachers leaving Mehlville schools

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MEHLVILLE, Mo. ( - A record number of teachers are on their way out of the Mehlville School District and most of them are resigning.

The number of resignations has more than doubled this year compared to a typical year. It comes months after the district authorized four million dollars in cuts.

To put it all into perspective, district officials said they are losing 77 teachers this school year. They said 20 are retiring and 57 are quitting or resigning, and they are going to other districts.

"It makes me sad because it's a great community and it's a really great district,” said Kim Rucker.

Rucker has worked in the Mehlville School District for 10 years now, first as a reading recovery teacher, then as an instructional coach, but now that position has been cut, so she's leaving the district for Rockwood.

"I need the job security and really it's an opportunity for me to have a job that will be secure,” Rucker said.

Mehlville district leaders admit that's something their staff does not have right now, and its effect is obvious.

They said about 20 teachers leave in a normal year, this year 57 are on their way out. Some to districts like Lindbergh and Hancock.

"Very few people in the community realize that we had a five million dollar deficit as far as budget this year. Once they found that out, they said 'where did that come from' or 'how did that happen,' because they didn't know,” said Norm Ridder, interim superintendent.

The school board is going back to the drawing board and looking at the possibility of a tax levy increase.

The last time voters approved such an increase was nearly three decades ago in 1986.

"We've surveyed the community several times, with phone surveys, focus groups, we've done all of that and have a pretty strong sense that here is strong support,” Ridder said.

Rucker said she wants to see it happen.

"I hope that the community will turn around and they'll begin to support education in this district,” Rucker said.

"The real problem here is that nobody knew. And so now it's just a matter of being able to get the truth out, educating the community and letting the community tell us what they want,” Ridder said.

The school board is currently looking at that tax levy increase.

They are expected to make a decision in August and if approved, it will go to the voters in November.
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