At the April 12 meeting of the State Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kelvin Adams, and the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis (BOE) were recognized for their work over the past several years as well as the recently launched ad hoc committees which have returned the district to the forefront of the education conversation in the state with very promising results.
Dr. Adams delivered an update on the district’s progress over the past year followed updates from BOE Committee Chairs. The State Board engaged in a lively discussion of the concepts introduced by the newly elected board. Matt Davis, SLPS Board Secretary and Chair of the Advocacy and Legislative Committee, explained the nature of their advocacy work this year which was led by Board Members, parents, clergy and community and addressed the need to protect public school funding. SLPS Board Member and Chair of the Citywide Plan Committee, Antionette “Toni” Cousins shared why her work includes encouraging leaders to reexamine and rebuild its outdated educational infrastructure in order to provide quality and consistency in educational outcomes for all school-age children in St. Louis.
Following the presentation, State Board Member Charles Shields acknowledged that public and charter schools coexist well in other states but, “…we haven’t gotten to that point here in Missouri.” He added, “We can’t do a moratorium, that would be something our legislators would need to do. But we can request an impact statement in the application process for (anyone) applying for a new charter school.” Shield added, “This is excellent work, and we congratulate you (District)…together we will figure this out!”
on long-time State Board Member Peter Herschend praised the good work of the two committees, “The work these people (superintendent/board) have done, is …it’s reflected in the money (healthy fund balance), yes, but in 20 plus years this has not been duplicated anywhere in the State or in the Nation!”