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State Education Board meets today to discuss STL Schools

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) meets today (Thursday) in what could be the first step towards handing control of the St. Louis School District over to an appointed board. But that move is no likely to happen quickly.

If DESE revokes the school districts provisional accreditation, the current school board may see its managerial power stripped in favor of a three-member panel.

But, Missouri Commissioner of Education Kent King doesn't see DESE going down that road too hastily.

"I do not anticipate making major recommendations [Thursday] based on my expectation that we'll have a lot of discussions and the board may have questions they may want me to gather information on before we go further," King said, in an interview on Wednesday.

An appointed school board would consist of people nominated by the Mayor, Governor and president of the board of Aldermen.

St. Louis is one of a handful of districts, including Kansas City that are considered "failing". Critics of state intervention have threatened to take legal action should DESE call for a take-over.


Today's meeting comes as Missouri's Education Commissioner is almost back to full-time on the job.

Kent King had a brain-tumor removed in October and notes he still gets tired: "I still get tired after a full day, and late in the day sometimes, and certainly plenty tired in the evening.

"I don't get involved with a lot of an evening because I just don't have the energy after the radiation and chemo I've had."

King says he has no plans to leave his current job and plans a full recovery.