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No vote, but State Board moving towards takeover of STL schools

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The State Board of Education didn't take action at its meeting Thursday in Jefferson City on a recommendation from a special panel that the St. Louis School District be run by a transitional board.

The St. Louis School district currently holds provisional accreditation until 2008, but the department of education could move to revoke provisional status.

Education commissioner Kent King made a presentation recommending that process take place, but acknowledged some regret about the over-all situation.

"We probably should've had some discussion like this earlier," says King, "whereas we've tried to let a number of things be resolved internally, and it's my opinion that hasn't happened...I just think kids deserve more."

If the state eventually decides to revoke the district's accreditation because of poor performance on state tests, the current school board would lose control of the district.

State Board President Peter Herschend says a decision about accreditation could be made as early as the board's next meeting in February.

"That issue will come before this board soon, whether it be next month, it'll be before the end of June," says Herschend.

A transitional panel would be made up of three appointed members and would be in place for as long as six years.

Even if a transitional school board is put in place, the State Board of Education will still have veto-power over the transitional board. The current local school board would stay in place but it would not have authority.