Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breakup of School District Is Viewed as Unlikely

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breakup of School District Is Viewed as Unlikely

Article excerpt

* Illinois lawmakers react to the suggestion of dissolving or melding East St. Louis schools.

The East St. Louis School District is unlikely to be dissolved or melded into neighboring districts, Illinois lawmakers say.

They were reacting Thursday to a comment by a state oversight panel member that those possibilities should be considered. But legislators said either of those moves would appear to require legislation that House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, is unlikely to support over the objections of Rep. Wyvetter Younge, D-East St. Louis, who is a strong proponent of local control of the troubled schools system. Moreover, it would be unfair to disperse the East St. Louis district's 13,000 students, said Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Troy, a tough critic of the East St. Louis School Board. "Why punish the bordering districts?" Stephens asked. "Why would you take a bordering district and give it a little piece of the nightmare?" The issue came to the forefront Wednesday, when Robert Oakes, a member of the state Financial Oversight Panel for East St. Louis schools, became exasperated with what he regarded as failure of the top officials of School District 189 to cooperate with reforms. Oakes, a former schools superintendent in Decatur, Ill., suggested that the panel might have to seek legislation to dissolve the district or split it among its neighbors. Recent history suggests that would be a tough sell. The oversight panel abandoned efforts earlier this year to win bipartisan support for a legislative measure for more muscle after a judge ruled it had overstepped its authority in taking over day-to-day business operations. The GOP-led Senate backed the bill, but it faced failure with the Democratic majority in the House. A survey Thursday of area legislators of both parties strongly suggests that the state panel will have to work with the tools it has. "Legislation is not the answer," said Sen. James Clayborne Jr., D-East St. Louis. "Legislation is not going to change anything. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.