ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Several schools and more than a hundred jobs are on the chopping block as the St. Louis city school district attempts to put forth a balanced budget.
St. Louis city school Superintendent Kelvin Adams announced at a board meeting Wednesday night that 134 positions and three schools have got to go in order to fix the budget. Adams said his proposals would save more than $14 million from a $282.2 million budget.
The eliminated jobs would include 82 teachers and 20 nurses, counselors and social workers. Adams said most of the teaching positions would be eliminated by increasing class sizes.
But one of the biggest issues in his opinion moving forward is teacher retirement funds.
“It is a major, major, major deal from my perspective,” said Adams. “How are we going to continue to manage this district moving forward?”
He says rising retirement costs will be addressed at a meeting in March.
As for the three schools facing closure are Sherman Elementary, L’Ouverture Middle and Cleveland NJROTC High, he says there’s little to nothing students can do to change his mind.
Sherman and L’Ouverture would close after this year. Cleveland would not accept freshman this fall and graduate its last class in 2016.
Students from Cleveland High School voiced their opinion at Wednesday’s meeting.
“For a school that has accomplished so much with so little resources, many would think that the board would feel that Cleveland is an honor to the district not a burden,” one student said.
Several students argued their more than 95 percent attendance rate and hundred percent graduation rate earned them the right to stick around. But Adams says the school’s enrollment is dwindling, so he can’t justify keeping it open.
There will be a meeting on Saturday for the public to give input on the school closure.