St. Louis Public Schools

knittymarie / Flickr

Flat enrollment and the lingering recession may force St. Louis Public Schools to close four of its schools.

That’s according to a 2013-14 budget proposal presented to the Special Administrative Board Wednesday night by Superintendent Kelvin Adams.

Even though four schools could be closed, the public comment period at the board meeting was full of Cleveland Junior Naval Academy students like Erik Harrison.

In full uniform, Harrison and his classmates pleaded with the board to spare the military prep school.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with comments from Jeff Rainford.

St. Louis city firefighters who have served at least seven years with the department will be able to move outside the city boundaries.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled today that the Missouri Legislature was within its rights in 2010 to pass a law overriding local residency requirements for fire departments in cities where the school district is unaccredited or provisionally accredited.

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

Lawsuits brought by families who want the St. Louis school district to pay to send their children to an accredited suburban school district are in question after the St. Louis district regained its accreditation last week.

Missouri law requires unaccredited districts to pay tuition and transportation costs to send students living within their boundaries to accredited districts in the same or an adjoining county.

Several families who were already sending their children to school in Clayton sued the St. Louis district after it lost its accreditation in 2007.

(Flickr/Cast a Line)

Suburban St. Louis districts will continue to accept black students who transfer from the St. Louis city district through a program that grew out of a desegregation case.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:57 p.m. with comments from DESE's Margie Vandeven; Peter Herschend, State Board of Education President; and Chris Nicastro, Mo. Education Commissioner.

St. Louis schools are no longer unaccredited, following a unanimous vote today by the State Board of Education. The struggling district, which has been under state control for five years, will now have provisional, but not full, accreditation.

knittymarie / Flickr

St. Louis public schools will find out tomorrow if they’ll regain at least provisional accreditation from the State Board of Education.

St. Louis schools lost their accreditation five years ago and were soon after placed under state control, but they have improved over the past two years.  In 2010 they only met 3 out of 14 performance standards, with six being the minimum require for provisional accreditation.  Last year they met the minimum six, and this year they’ve met seven performance standards.  State Board Member Peter Herschend (R) says, though, there’s no guarantee the vote will go St. Louis’s way.

(via St. Louis Public Schools)

On Tuesday the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider granting provisional accreditation to St. Louis Public Schools, and the religious group Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU) plans to push state officials to move forward with re-instating local control over the district.

Sunday, the religious group held its annual public meeting and Barbara Paulus, who leads the Economic Task Force for MCU, said earning back accreditation is a key part of ensuring kids get the education they’re entitled to.

(via Flickr/cayoup)

On the heels of improving test scores and other accountability measures that were reported last month, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will decide whether to grant St. Louis Public Schools provisional accreditation on Oct. 16.  

Even though he is optimistic about the chances that the district will begin to earn back local control as soon as next month, Superintendent Kelvin Adams says that isn’t the only measure of success.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A collaborative effort among the administration, parents, and teachers of the St. Louis Public Schools toward regaining accreditation earned praise on Tuesday from the president of the a national teachers union.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, made St. Louis a stop on her national back-to-school tour. The St. Louis teachers are represented by an AFT local.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The state of Missouri and the city of St. Louis will go in front of the state Supreme Court on Thursday to argue over who can decide where city employees live.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

MAP scores released

The St. Louis school district could be a year away from regaining partial accreditation.  Missouri's Annual Performance Reports, or MAP scores, have been released today.  They show that St. Louis city schools have met seven standards, including one academic standard. 

Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says they're looking for sustained improvement over time.

(via St. Louis Public Schools)

Updated 5:10 p.m. Aug. 13:

St. Louis Public Schools has released its attendance figures for the first day of school:

  • 20,283 students in Kindergarten through 12th grade attended classes today
  • According to SLPS, the number shows a 10.25 percent increase over the previous year’s first day attendance of 18,397

Three new schools opened to address the closing of six Imagine charter schools in St. Louis. The new schools had the following first-day attendance numbers:

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Ill. Gov. calls for stricter gun laws

Days after the Colorado theater shooting, Governor Pat Quinn is calling for stricter gun laws in Illinois. Gun-rights advocates have long argued that public safety would be improved if people were allowed to carry concealed firearms. Illinois is the only state without any form of concealed carry for the general public. And Quinn says he'd oppose any attempt to permit concealed carry.

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

The St. Louis Public Schools have unveiled their plans to cope with a possible influx of students from the shuttered Imagine charter schools.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams says more than 1,200 of Imagine’s 3,500 students have applied to attend St. Louis Public Schools next year. He says if enough parents are interested, the district will open as many as six new buildings that would allow Imagine students to stay together.

(via Flickr/cayoup)

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that the Webster Groves School District in suburban St. Louis County does not have to admit a student from the unaccredited St. Louis Public Schools.

Tuesday's ruling also sent the case - King-Willmann v. Webster Groves School District - back to the trial court, saying "contested issues of fact" had not been resolved.

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

A St. Louis County judge begins hearing arguments in a case that has the potential to allow thousands of Kansas City and St. Louis students to leave their unaccredited school systems.

(See our own Maria Altman's feature on the issue here).

The hearing, which began Monday, involves a state law that requires unaccredited districts to pay tuition and transportation for students within their boundaries to attend accredited schools.

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

For nearly 20 years Missouri has had a law on the books that allows students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to nearby accredited ones.

It’s a policy that makes sense on the surface.

Yet as of this year both the St. Louis and Kansas City public schools are without state accreditation.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman reports, the law would allow thousands of students to transfer into suburban districts at a huge cost to the urban schools.

(screenshot via Google Maps)

The St. Louis Public Schools will ask the Missouri State Board of Education for permission to sponsor a new charter school that will lease space in a vacant district property on the city's north side.

The state board that oversees the district approved the request last night.

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Missouri lawmakers will again push legislation aimed at preventing an exodus of Kansas City and St. Louis students from their failing schools and overwhelming neighboring districts.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that students living in unaccredited districts are owed free transfers and that accredited schools must take the students. The courts continue to work out the details.

(Julie Linder/St. Louis Public Schools)

For the first time in a decade, the St. Louis Public Schools will be debt-free.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams announced today that the district has entered an agreement with the plaintiffs in a 1972 case over the district's segregation policies that frees up $96 million for debt reduction and district operations.

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