Congratulations, Parkway Taxpayers! You were generous for the month of September!
Parkway taxpayers, represented by seven elected Board of Education members, watched as the BOE unanimously voted to approve Deputy Superintendent Dr. Chelsea Watson's request to spend an additional $48,000 for split graduation ceremonies at the Family Arena in St. Charles County after Dr. Keith Marty abruptly severed the contract Parkway has long maintained with St. Louis County Parks at the Greensfelder Complex, also known locally as "Queeny Park". The additional money will be used to pay for the change after parents in the Jewish community and the supporters of the larger community were outraged at the district's abrupt decision made without consideration for the weekly Jewish holy day of Shabbat and on its heels, the major holiday of Shavout. Although the community is satisfied that the district bowed to districtwide pressure and moved the graduation date for their Jewish constituents, the community as a whole remains disturbed by the original decision. Several concerns linger: why was there an abrupt decision to cancel St. Louis County Parks' contract in the first place? Why were other venues not considered in this move? Why should the large amount of tax dollars be funneled to the neighboring county where none of Parkway's families live? Why were parents and community members not involved in the process? Why are large decisions proposed before the board, quickly discussed at the same meeting & passed without a second reading or taxpayer notice or consideration? Where is the Board Director's oversight in this matter? Who do they represent? Parkway taxpayer interests or the Superintendent's singular interests?
Total cost for graduation for the Parkway School District?
From $22,000 to $92,000 ($44,000 + $48,000)
The BOE also approved requests by the Director of Diversity and Pupil Personnel for boutique-style services at taxpayer expense: first, $16,758 to pay for five middle school girls' poetry lessons and second, $26,500 for an individual to coach African American students through the college application completion at Central, North, and West schools. South is evidently excluded from this program. Finally, the BOE approved $208,610 for "commodity processed food" that will be used to feed your kids lunches.