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St. Louis Schools Get Federal Cash for Magnet Program

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The St. Louis public school district is getting an $8.4 million dollar federal grant to expand its magnet program. The district will establish magnet programs in 13 elementary schools.

Magnets function in part as a vehicle for racial diversity. However, a large number of African-American students are waiting to enter those schools but can't because of low white student enrollment.

Magnet project director Larry Hutchins says the expansion plan will attract more non-minorities.

"Once they're in the system, then we can balance them with the 60 percent of the students that under the desegregation settlement are entitled to come in who are African-Americans, and thereby reduce the current wait list that's there," Hutchins said.

The new magnet schools will eventually become kindergarten through 8th grade.

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