Bill in Jefferson City would prevent state takeover of SLPS
By Marshall Griffin, KWMU
Jefferson City, MO – A St. Louis lawmaker has filed a bill that, if passed, would block the state from taking over the city's embattled school district.
Rep. Jamilah Nasheed says the bill would do away with the transitional school board set up by the State Board of Education.
"We're taking the people's right to vote away and making it appointed board members," said the St. Louis Democrat on Tuesday. "And I don't think that that's gonna change the academic problem that's plaguing the St. Louis public schools."
The transitional board would replace the elected St. Louis school board if the district loses its accreditation. Nasheed also says replacing elected school board members with political appointees will not improve academic standards in St. Louis.
Meanwhile, Wednesday is the deadline for St. Louis Public Schools to provide updated graduate placement data to the state. But the school district does not have the information ready, and this could be one of many factors that lead to a state takeover.
In order to remain accredited schools, are required meet graduate placement benchmarks-that is, students who've either enrolled in some form of post-secondary education or the military.
At their last board of education meeting, the state gave St. Louis Public schools two weeks to submit new data.
District Superintendent Diana Bouisaw says collecting this much back up data in such a short time is nearly impossible.
"It's very clear that [Wednesday] we will not be able to produce all of the information that DESE has required," noted Bourisaw, in an interview. "At this moment I believe war able to contact less than 20% of the students."
Because of school closings as well as high student mobility, the public school district only had graduate placement information going back two years. Bourisaw has asked the department of education for an extension.
There is no word yet if the state will grant one.