Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

E. St. Louis Schools Can't Get Insured for Debts Financial Firms Label District a `Bad Risk' with Unstable Future

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

E. St. Louis Schools Can't Get Insured for Debts Financial Firms Label District a `Bad Risk' with Unstable Future

Article excerpt

Financial companies consider the East St. Louis School District so financially unstable and its future so uncertain that the district has been unable to line up bond insurance to refinance its debts.

Richard Mark, head of the State Oversight Panel that monitors spending in the district, said the message from financial concerns around the nation was that the district was a "bad risk."

Mark also expressed dismay and frustration over more bad news made public at a meeting Wednesday: The district's business office said the district was at least $1 million, and possibly $2 million, more in debt that it previously had calculated.

And, because of the various delays in assembling financial data and dealing with the unions, summer school may end July 3, when 453 people are scheduled to be fired.

One resident, Katie Wicks, asked: "What happens to our children July 3 when they get to school? Who will open up the doors if the janitors are off? Who will give them a meal? …

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