ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Four and a half years after the state of Missouri stripped St. Louis Public Schools of accreditation, no one has a timetable for getting it back.
During a stopover at a city public school, Governor Nixon was asked by KMOX if he has a goal — similar to President Kennedy vowing to put a man on the Moon by the end of the decade — for when the state takeover will end.
Nixon bristled at the question and thumped the podium as he defended the progress so far without a goal.
“These schools right now are schools in which those kids and those parents can succeed,” Nixon said, “This isn’t about a light switch at some particular point because some kids scored the right number on a test.”
Rick Sullivan, the President of the three-member state panel now running city schools, also has no timetable for re-accreditation.
“There isn’t a date,” Sullivan said.
When asked if there should be a goal pasted on the wall of his office, Sullivan responded: “I don’t know. I think there’s a lot of work being done. I don’t know that a specific date needs to be put on this.”
And Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams also refuses to set a calender goal for re-accreditation . Adams says his goal is “now,” but when pressed would only suggest that the district should be re-accredited “in less than ten years.”
Those involved say it’s all about getting students to deliver test scores that satisfy requirements set by the State Department of Education.
Also looming, court cases that could allow city students to flee to surrounding St. Louis County school districts with St. Louis City schools expected to pay their tuition .
Adams was asked if St. Louis City Schools can afford to pay tuition for a mass exodus of students to neighboring districts .
“I don’t think the district can (afford to pay),” Adams said, “No, I don’t think so.”
Adams says he has made no calculations on how many students might leave the district for the county or what the tuition bill might be.
Many county districts fear they may get stuck with the bill.
A recent poll conducted by the the University of Missouri-St. Louis estimated that if the courts allow children to get free tuition at any public school in the county, some 13,500 would flood county schools — about 8,300 of them from the unaccredited St. Louis Public schools.