ST. LOUIS, MO, November 21, 2011– In 1972, Craton Liddell’s family filed a lawsuit that brought integrated education to hundreds of thousands of St. Louis’ school children, and in the process created one of the largest inter-district school desegregation programs, and one of the largest school choice programs in the country. Known as Liddell versus the Board of Education, City of St. Louis, the landmark case was settled in1999 when the federal government ordered the State of Missouri to pay $180 million to the District, effectively ending court supervision and monitoring.
Today, the St. Louis Public School District is pleased to announce that the litigants have accepted a three-year proposal which will balance the District’s budget and fund academic programs. The proposal, which was approved on November 16, will allocate $96.1 million from the Desegregation Capital Fund to fund academic and student support programs previously unfunded or underfunded.
“I would like to thank the parties for the support shown throughout this year-long process,” said Dr. Kelvin Adams, Superintendent of Schools. “Funding through the proposal will strengthen the District’s current financial position while setting the path for future growth through academic and training programs.”The three-year proposal identifies proposed programs and funding options that have a direct link to the desegregation settlement agreement implemented by the Federal Court on March 12, 1999. Specifically, the proposal will:
· Expand the Early Childhood Education Program. The District will add new early childhood classrooms and early childhood special education classrooms to support the educational needs of children, ages 3 and 4, living in the City of St. Louis. Additionally, before and after care will be offered at sites around the District.
· Support high quality principal leadership. The District will provide training and mentoring to current and future SLPS principals as they fulfill important management roles, including but not limited to supervising teachers, designing timely and challenging curricula, managing the school budget, dispensing impartial discipline, supervising facilities and overseeing the day-to-day business operations.
· Invest in Technology. The District will improve infrastructure by adding state of the art computer labs, mobile carts for testing and assessment, and interactive boards in every school. In addition, the District is laying the groundwork to place a handheld computing device in the hand of every student.
· Expand the Parent/Infant Interaction Program (PIIP). PIIP will be expanded to all comprehensive high schools to provide prenatal and parenting students the academic and emotional support necessary to stay in school.
· Fund Transportation Inefficiencies. SLPS is penalized because the State of Missouri provides partial reimbursement for school district transportation costs based upon a formula, which includes an efficiency ratio that reduces state transportation funding when district transportation programs are deemed to be inefficient. SLPS is penalized under this formula because it is required to transport thousands of students across the City of St. Louis to and from a magnet school every day.
An overview of the desegregation funding proposal is as follows:
Fund Balance Restoration $55,900,000
Early Childhood Education $23,124,111
Principal Leadership $ 3,585,000
Magnet School $ 7,495,200
The St. Louis Plan $ 3,300,000
Technology Plan $ 2,700,000
Note: The funding request spans a three-year funding period.