SLPS budget
9:48 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

Adams seeks more detail before presenting SLPS budget

Saying the process of collaboration is not what it should have been, St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Kelvin Adams delayed tonight  presenting his budget for the 2011-2012 school year.

The budget is likely to include layoffs and the closure of as many as three schools. Letters have already gone out to the parents at Bunche and Stevens middle schools, and Kottmeyer Big Picture High School, and library and media specialists from the district were out in force to protest the possibility that some of them may lose their jobs.

The teachers and other stakeholders got a chance to review the layoffs and possible closures, Adams says. "We have had some conversations relative to the budget, but that conversation has not been as detailed as it has in the past."

Adams says the district also needs to evaluate how it will be able to use $6.3 million in federal aid - its share of $189 million the state General Assembly approved on Monday.

"We were anticipating all of it going into next school year, but some may have to go into this year," he says. "But then we would have the ability to shift dollars from this year to next year, but we need to know that." He says he doesn't know how the federal aid might change the proposed cuts.

Also tonight, the appointed board that oversees the schools approved a policy that would allow the district to close schools showing poor academic performance, (pgs. 96-98)  and allows eighth graders who are not accepted into magnet schools to choose which high school they attend (pgs. 92-93).

Both changes are part of what Dr. Adams calls his "Great Options" plan, which also includes expanding charters and alternative education. He discusses the plan in the following interview.