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.