St. Louis Public Radio News
6:40 am
Tue August 22, 2006

City elected officials urge kids to attend first day of school

St. Louis – City leaders are urging students in the St. Louis Public Schools to attend the first day of classes next week.

Top elected officials held a news conference Tuesday to remind students and parents that school starts Monday, August 28.

Absent from the gathering was Mayor Francis Slay. Aides said he is out of town on vacation. But there was no representative from the mayor's office at the news conference.

Slay called for a state takeover of the district following the ouster of Superintendent Creg Williams.

But when asked if she supports such a takeover, Comptroller Darlene Green declined to answer.

"We've gathered enough adults today to show the children that we can all come together and support them," Green said. "And I think that's very positive for our teenagers in these troubled times."

Other officials at the gathering also deflected questions.

Despite major public relations campaigns in the past, first day attendance in St. Louis in each of the last two years has only been about 80 percent.