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Angry Parents Threaten to Keep Kids Home from School

By K. Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – St. Louis officials say they're continuing to work with community leaders to ensure a smooth start to the first day of school.
Some 41,000 public school children are slated to return to class September 8.

However, some parents and civic activists enraged over budget cuts and layoffs have threatened to keep children at home on the first day.

Robbyn Wahby is an assistant to St. Louis mayor Francis Slay. She says absent children and lagging enrollments are problems the city has been dealing with for a long time.

"And the district along with the mayor have been working for some time to try to figure this out. We've met with focus groups with parents, principals and teachers, asking what do you think in the past has kept your child from coming to school, and we're addressing those needs," Wahby said.

Wahby says city officials are helping with school registration, supplies and clothing drives to help parents prepare their children to return to school.