MEHLVILLE, Mo. – Dozens of Mehlville parents are upset with the board of education after they voted to end the At Home Academy program after three years. Five board members voted to end the program in Mehlville for the 102 students currently enrolled.
Board members said during last week’s meeting they learned about the impact of the program on the students and teachers. On Thursday, board members acknowledged the difficulty of their decision.
“Obviously, part of this is a financial decision, and it’s not that I want to cut money from our budget,” Patrick McKelvey, Mehlville Board of Education, said. “It is simply that I want to reallocate and spend the money on other things that our district so desperately needs.”
The breakdown of students is that about 44% of those enrolled in Mehlville’s At Home Academy are from across the state; the rest are Mehlville students. Board members said the program is currently in a million-dollar deficit. Which means they would need an additional 140 students enrolled in the program to break even.
“We understand there is a deficit and they need money to keep this program afloat, but it’s the only program like this in the state,” Stacey Cooley said.
He is one of the many parents frustrated with the program ending and said it is one of a kind.
“We’ve looked into other programs like this, both privately and through other districts, and there are no other programs like this in the state,” Cooley said.