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School Board Votes to Close Five More Schools

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St. Louis Schools Headquarters (KWMU photo)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The St. Louis school board approved the district's proposed 2005 budget Tuesday night.

The new budget calls for another round of school closures.

Before a boisterous crowd, the board voted to close Banneker, Eliot and Lafayette Elementary Schools and relocate students from Bunche Middle School and Central VPA to Southwest High.

Board president Darnetta Clinkscale says the restructuring was necessary in light of lower than expected enrollment in a voluntary retirement program.

"So we can only say that we've got to serve this community and these children and uphold our fiduciary responsibilities," Clinkscale said.

The action frustrates parent Virgil Yowell who says he'll move his family out of the city.

"I'm sick of this. This is ridiculous," Yowell said. "Put our children through relocation after relocation I mean, what's it going to be next year? There's some hidden agendas that are not being revealed, I think I don't know. It doesn't make any sense."

The closures will lay off about 150 employees, most of whom are certificated. Clinkscale was unsure how many may be teachers.

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