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Religious Group Gets Promises from Local Leaders

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Gov. Bob Holden speaks to the group Sunday. (UPI photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – At the request of a religious group, the St. Louis public schools will open their doors to visitors next month.

At their annual policy meeting Sunday night, leaders of Metropolitan Congregations United said many schools in the city lack basic supplies and certified teachers.

The Reverend C. Jessel Strong of St. John AME church says parents, teachers, and students will have an opportunity to address those concerns with the schools' management team.

"It's powerful, because it's a step in the right direction," Strong said. "It creates real dialogue. The community must have direct input into decisions that affect our schools."

The first of the so-called people's tours will be December third. Interim Superintendent William Roberti says he'll welcome the visitors.

Missouri Senate President Peter Kinder told the group he will consider supporting the closure of so-called corporate loopholes in Missouri tax law during the next legislative session.

MCU President Father Richard Creason asked the Republican whether he "will recommit to looking at closing major corporate tax loopholes to help fund education?" Kinder replied "yes."

Kinder and House Speaker Catherine Hanaway opposed tax increases during last summer's special legislative session.

MCU leaders and Missouri Gov. Bob Holden say more tax money is needed to pay for education and social programs.

The nonpartisan, non-denominational religious group met yesterday to discuss its agenda with state and local politicians.

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