State Takeover vs. Mayoral Control
We’re one step closer to a state takeover of the Saint Louis school district:
The State Board of Education voted this morning to take the first step to intervene in the St. Louis Public Schools, despite parents and teachers who disrupted their meeting.
The final step hinges now on whether the district is awarded provisional accreditation. That decision is expected as early as Feb. 28.
At that time, the board the board is expected to vote to intervene in the St. Louis Public Schools, a move that will alter the oversight and operation of Missouri’s largest school system for up to the next six years — and also trigger legal challenges.
The idea of a state takeover is bound to make a lot of Saint Louis residents uncomfortable. The Saint Louis school board may not be perfect, but at least it’s elected by Saint Louis voters. Why should a state board of elections?most of whose members are not from Saint Louis?have a say in the running of the Saint Louis school system?
That’s why we asked Frederick Hess to look at another option that might preserve local control while giving the district the focus and accountability it so desperately needs. As Frederick Hess argued in an op-ed last month and a recent Show-Me Study, mayoral control can provide the leadership required to make the tough choices that will be required to improve the plight of the Saint Louis schools. And it does so in a way that leaves control over the district firmly in the hands of people who were directly elected by the Saint Louis voters.