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STL School Board rejects push for lawsuit


By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The possibility of losing control has members of the current St. Louis School Board forming battle lines.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will meet tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss, among other things, a report that advocates stripping the St. Louis Public School Board of power in favor a three person appointed board.

At Tuesday's administrative meeting, school board member Peter Downs made a motion to direct legal council to defend the rights of voters to elect members to the board of education.

The motion was defeated 4-3 in what Downs characterized as a politically motivated agenda: "A portion of the board is responsible for relentlessly destroying this district over the last three years, so yes, I expect them to say, 'Oh my gosh we didn't finish the job we need to do something to finish the job of destroying educational options for children is St. Louis,' that's why they oppose it.

Several St. Louis state representatives as well as the teachers union have asked DESE to conduct public hearings before taking action that would affect control of the district.

Board member Ron Jackson on the other hand actively endorses a state takeover. He says Downs and company are mired in the past.

"I think their motives are to go back to the past," Jackson said Tuesday. "I think they want to reinstate the failed policies, procedures and instructions that existed in this district in 2002."

Those failed procedures, Jackson says, were policies that diverted the districts money away from classroom instruction.


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