Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

School Desegregation Opponent Cites Catholic Study

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

School Desegregation Opponent Cites Catholic Study

Article excerpt

An aide to St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. has cited a study on Catholic schools here as proof that the area's desegregation program doesn't work.

The study, made public Monday, found that city neighborhoods revolved around their parish schools, preventing decay and keeping residents from moving to the suburbs.

Too many public schools cannot connect with a neighborhood because students are bused to schools in the county, said James Buchanan Jr., an aide to Bosley. Buchanan spoke on the mayor's behalf at a press conference Monday in which the St. Louis Archdiocese released the study's findings at St. Roch School in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood. In the study, more than 200 city residents, some childless couples, favored Catholic elementary schools because they offered students top academic and athletic programs and gave neighborhoods places to hold meetings and have fund-raising and social events. Buchanan said after the press conference, "The mayor is hoping the community pays attention to this study, because there's a lot we can learn from the Catholic schools." Desegregation makes it easier for parents and their children to feel indifferent toward the school in their neighborhood, he said. "They can't get to know their community because they're out in the county. So some families abandon their community," he said. He also said that feeling connected to a neighborhood taught young people respect. …

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