St. Louis County school district, facing teacher shortages, seeks voters for financial help

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Mehlville School District Superintendent expressed hope taxpayers will help them retain current teachers and attract new ones.

Proposal E would raise approximately $6 million to allow the district to increase teacher salaries.

Superintendent Chris Gaines said that starting salaries for Mehlville teachers are $2,300 less than the county average. He said pay for teachers in Mehlville at the highest scale is $7,700 below the county average. Gaines said there was an urgent need to raise teachers’ salaries. He said he had a shortage of teachers.

“We do, especially in specific areas, some areas are very hard to find that we don’t have,” Gaines said. “We lack a talented teacher. We are short English learners teachers. We have a number of math and science teachers who are retiring and we are concerned about finding new math and science teachers.”

Some parents support Proposition E.

“I’m all for it. I’m in school quite a bit so I can really see how necessary it is and how hard the teachers are working,” said one parent. “We’re among the underpaid, most underpaid in the county, and I think it’s time to catch up with Mehlville.”

However, not everyone felt that way.

“I don’t think anything else should be taxed, at this point the taxes are already high enough for everyone,” said one woman.

Gaines shared his thoughts with those opposed to tax increases.

“Well, I’m one of them, I don’t want to pay higher taxes either,” he said. “But I also want a highly qualified, effective teacher to teach my child.” St. Louis County school district, facing teacher shortages, seeks voters for financial help

Sarah Y. Kim

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