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City schools superintendent says firm will help with PR efforts

(UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – The superintendent of the St. Louis Public Schools says a New York public relations company will help the district better organize its communications efforts.

Last month the PR firm Linden Alschuler and Kaplan signed on with the district.

The Greater St. Louis Community Foundation booster organization is paying the $75,000 bill, not the schools.

Superintendent Creg Williams said his current PR staff cannot handle the workload.

"When I first arrived, that was one of the major complaints from press, that they did not have multiple people to contact," Williams said. "They could not get information quickly. It takes too long to get stuff out. And so we have to build the infrastructure for that."

But critics say the PR firm's hiring comes suspiciously close to April's school board election.

Board member Bill Purdy and former member Bill Haas say the move is an attempt to help the campaigns of the two candidates allied with Mayor Francis Slay.