UPDATED: We mistakenly reported this as Valley Park School District. The correct school district is Valley R-VI in Caledonia, MO. The Superintendent of the Valley R-VI school district is Michael Silvey, not Tim Dilg as was originally reported. We apologize to the faculty and staff of Valley Park school district for the mistake and any harm caused by the original post.

A recent audit by State Auditor Nicole Galloway found that Valley R-VI School District had been manipulating their daily average attendance numbers in order to quality for additional state funding. The report said,

“Student attendance decreased significantly after the Superintendent’s April 2019 letter that discouraged attendance. Although the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education disallowed the student attendance data for the date included in the Superintendent’s letter, the district continued to experience low attendance during the remainder of the school year. As a result, the district met the goal noted in the letter of a lower Average Daily Attendance and was eligible for additional funding.”

Parents who were deceived by Superintendent Michael Silvy’s letter into keeping their children out of school should hold him and their school board members accountable. for denying their children an education in the pursuit of money. to which they were not legally entitled

Where is that money going? To pay teachers more? Purchasing more classroom materials? Or paying for more administrative staff and technology, neither of which actually improve education? Ask your child’s teacher how much of their own money they have pumped into classroom materials. Ask your schoolboard member what percentage of the district’s budget is dedicated to repairing or replacing technology originally purchased with a subsidy or donated outright. How did that technology work for you during the covid shutdown? Did it provide what you would call an edequate education?

If you live in that district are are ok with all of this, how do you feel about facing your peers in the rest of the state who got less money for their district because your district cheated? What values are we passing on to the next generation if we condone this type of behavior because it ended in a positive to us?

Recommendations from the auditor:

The Board of Education:

  1. 2.1  Implement additional controls and procedures to ensure student attendance data is accurately recorded and reported, including restricting the time period when changes can be made without authorization. The Board should also ensure the attendance system is programmed to generate an audit trail report or report of changes, and that this report is reviewed for accuracy.
  2. 2.2  Limit users access rights in the attendance system to only what is necessary to perform their job duties and responsibilities.
Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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