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Clayton School Board Votes to Keep Deseg As Is, For Now

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Clayton School Board gave a vote of confidence last night to current students in the desegregation program.

The vote essentially says current deseg students and those who enter next school year will be able to graduate at Clayton.

But district spokesman Chris Tennill says the Board delayed a decision on whether to continue deseg in the 2005-2006 year.

That's because the vote wouldn't be unanimous. "To move forward with this issue with anything but the full consensus of the board wouldn't really do a whole lot to bring the community back together after this series of difficult issue and potentially just set the stage for more controversy," he said.

The debate in Clayton hasn't been over the merits of deseg, but rather the funding for it. The district will get $3 million less next school year for enrolling students from St. Louis City.

Hundreds of students at Clayton High School walked out of class last week to show support for the program.

School Board President Vic Frankel says funding cuts are the wild card, not the program itself. "We have a very diverse school district," Frankel said. "I think it prepares kids for the world they're going into and I think the parents and kids are very happy with the program we have."

Frankel says he hopes to decide the fate of the 2005-2006 school year by the end of this year.