St. Louis, MO – Qualifying Missouri residents can get up to $10,000 in tax credits to adopt a so-called special needs child.
The audit finds more than 90% of those credits are funding international adoptions. That's not against state law but McCaskill says it raises the question of whether the program should be used exclusively for children who are Missouri residents:
St. Louis, MO – St. Louis police are pleased with their efforts to reduce car thefts in the city.
The department put 30 officers on the car theft beat last August. Thefts had been increasing but they started to decrease during the last three months of 2003. During that time, a car was stolen every 52 minutes; it had been every 44 minutes at one point.
Criminologists add fewer thefts might also mean thieves have moved on to something else.
St. Louis, MO – Most Missouri schools are off for President's Day, but many teachers, students, and administrators are still working today. They're headed to Jefferson City to lobby lawmakers to put more money into education.
Brent Ghan, with the state School Boards' Association, says schools need nearly a billion dollars more than they're currently getting to have adequate funding. He says he realizes state government doesn't have that kind of cash, which is why he says lawmakers should find more.
Jefferson City, MO – Several thousand people braved chilly temperatures Monday for an education rally at the Missouri Capitol.
Students, parents, teachers and administrators from across the state used their Presidents Day holiday to urge state politicians to spend more money on public schools.
Rally participants said state funding cuts during the past few years have resulted in fewer teachers, larger class sizes and a poorer learning environment. They warned that more cuts could greatly jeopardize schools.
Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said Sunday the budget he'll present this week will not include a new service tax, but it will try to close what he calls corporate tax loopholes.
His list of loopholes to be closed would raise $400 million for a state facing a budget deficit of about $1.7 billion. The governor also hopes state government can cut 4,000 jobs through attrition and early retirement.
St. Louis, MO – Today is the last day people can apply to run the St. Louis School District. The school board is looking for a permanent superintendent to replace the private company hired to run the district for a year.
Eight people have so far applied, including Rudy Crew, the man who used to run New York City's schools. Crew has been advising the current management team.
St. Louis Public Schools board member Ron Jackson is heading the search committee but not publicly identifying the candidates.