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Financial and Political Problems Plague the Troubled St. Louis Schools


The 2006-2007 school year for the St Louis schools brings with it a financial deficit and accreditation problems carried over from the previous board majority. Additionally, superintendent Creg Williams’ proposed budget was voted down on June 13, so currently there is no budget for the upcoming school year.

Financial Deficit

The current financial deficit was caused by the state, when it refused to honor its contract with the St Louis schools under the desegregation agreement of 1999. Abruptly during the 2002-2003 school year, the state cut off the funding and flatly refused to honor the agreement to pay the required funding — and has not paid a cent since.

The St Louis schools sued the state and won the lawsuit in circuit court. The state appealed the decision and has been dragging out the process ever since, delaying any decision on the appeal. The total amount in arrears that the state owes the St Louis schools is more than $120 million. This is the sole cause of the deficit for the upcoming school year.

Politics within the St Louis Schools

Adding to the financial troubles are the political problems that began in 2003, when board control of the St Louis schools was taken over by members loyal to Mayor Francis Slay. Voter support that was previously enjoyed by the St Louis schools was almost immediately lost.

There was nearly three years of disastrous performance in the St Louis schools. This majority essentially gave control of the St Louis schools to the New York management, consulting firm they hired, which resulted in the following:

• There were three different superintendents within just one budget year

Submitted by:

Patricia Hawke

Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, Which provides free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Patricia has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues.

View their website at: http://www.schoolsk-12.com/Missouri/Saint-Louis/index.html





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