Although they say they want to avoid it, the Missouri School Board is developing contingency plans for taking control of the school districts in Kansas City and St. Louis, according to a September 22 report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Kansas City lost its accreditation last year. If it does not achieve accreditation by June 2002, the state School Board is required by law to take over the district.
St. Louis would be in the same situation, except that a desegregation settlement required the state to delay action. School officials in St. Louis are working to achieve provisional accreditation in hopes of warding off a state takeover.
If the state does act, the district that is taken over could be run as before, simply with a new board. Alternatively, the new board would be authorized to break up the district into smaller parts, either to operate as separate government units or to be merged with other existing school districts.