Dear St. Louis Public School Community:
The members of the Special Administrative Board, have joined the Liddell/Caldwell plaintiffs and the NAACP in filing a motion in Federal Court against the State of Missouri. This litigation is the result of almost 8 years of unsuccessfully working with the State to get it to live up to its promises and contractual obligations of the 1999 Desegregation Settlement Agreement.
The State agreed in the 1999 Desegregation Settlement Agreement the 1999 Desegregation Settlement Agreement that SLPS would receive funding that included a local sales tax – the Desegregation Sales Tax - approved by St. Louis City voters for SLPS to pay for desegregation remediation programs operated by SLPS. These programs include early childhood education, full day kindergarten, summer schools, magnet schools, vocational education and capital improvements to buildings.
However, beginning in 2006, the State began redirecting significant portions of that Desegregation Sales Tax revenue in a manner that the Plaintiff classes and SLPS believe violates not only express terms of the Desegregation Settlement Agreement and the Court Order approving that agreement, but is also contrary to the express will of St. Louis City voters who approved the sales tax.
The legal action being taken has been characterized in the press and on social media as a dispute between SLPS and charter schools. Simply stated, that is not the case. The District’s stance on partnerships and relationships with charter schools remains unchanged. We remain focused on creating great options for the young people of our community.
While the timing of the public announcement of the motion being filed on the heels of the successful passage of Proposition 1 is unfortunate, the actual legal proceedings have been in motion for quite some time. Remember, Proposition 1 will benefit all public school children in St. Louis, both charter and SLPS students, and has no connection to the legal action being taken against the State.
Saint Louis Public Schools is truly a District on the move. We have made great strides in academics, leadership and finances over the past 8 years. We could not have done it without your support. The SAB remains committed to providing the children of SLPS with a world class education. We are thankful to the community for supporting the recent tax levy increase and we hope to continue to receive your support and patience.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently released the Annual Performance Reports (APR) for districts and individual schools through the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) Cycle 5. Based on the data released by DESE, SLPS received 106.5 APR points, eclipsing the 98 points required to qualify for FULL ACCREDITATION. The District last qualified for FULL ACCREDITATION in the 2000 school year.
“I am exceedingly proud of the progress this school district, under the leadership of Dr. Kelvin Adams, has made,” said Special Administrative Board President Rick Sullivan. “Turning this district around from where it was 10—or even five—years ago has taken focus, determination, dedication and a willingness to change and think outside the box. While our magnet schools that traditionally perform well continue to improve, many of our neighborhood schools are also doing a stellar job, showing tremendous growth and becoming fully accredited this year.”