•  Jan 10, 2017, 10:33am CST  

    The Missouri Board of Education on Tuesday voted to give full accreditation to Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS), according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

    In 2007, the same board stripped the district of its accreditation, citing problems linked to school finance, governance, and academic instruction and rigor, the release said. The state put in place a Transitional School District of St. Louis, with a Special Administrative Board. The state board in February approved the continuing operation of the Transitional School District through June 30, 2019, and the Special Administrative Board remains in place.

    “This is an opportunity to celebrate really great things in the district,” State Board President Charlie Shields said in a statement. “Today’s decision should be viewed as a major success for St. Louis, the state of Missouri and the Department.”

    The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said SLPS has scored in the fully accredited range for two straight years, showing growth in English language arts and math. It also improved student attendance and graduation rates, the department said.

    “The progress in St. Louis was brought about by a whole collection of unsung heroes, starting with students,” State Board Member Mike Jones said in a statement. “They made a commitment as individuals to get better. This is an exceptional day for Superintendent (Kelvin) Adams and his staff, but mostly for the students and teachers who worked every day for this result.”

    SLPS counted 2016 fall enrollment of 24,159, according to Business Journal research. Its budget for the 2016-2017 school year is $283 million.