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LOCAL Announcement :: Education : Local politics

School Board Candidates Respond to Survey

February 23, 2007. St. Louis, Missouri. The April 3, 2007 election for the St. Louis School Board will happen under a cloud of state takeover of the school system. Opponents of the takeover vow to use the election to voice their opposition.
In order to get a clear snapshot of their views, the Greens sent a brief questionnaire to each of the 10 candidates. All except William Monroe and Robert Archibald returned answers. Candidates were divided on items concerning charter schools, tax tuition credits and outsourcing custodial and food service work. "Do you support charter schools?" got a "yes" from Paul Harris, "maybes" from Bill Haas, Ron Jackson and Douglass Petty, and "no" from the other candidates.

Tax tuition credits were supported by Paul Harris, with other candidates responding "no." In response to whether it was a mistake to outsource to Sodexho and Aramark, Paul Harris and Ron Jackson said "no," Maurice St. Pierre said "yes" for custodial work and "no" for food service, and other candidates all said "yes."

The only item they agreed on was insuring that schools receiving tax support have the same accreditation requirements as public schools. Ronald Jackson was the only candidate favoring a state takeover of the St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS). He, Robert Archibald and Bill Haas have withdrawn from the race, leaving 7 candidates vying for 2 slots.

Candidates were asked to give grades of "A" to "F" for the superintendent and seven sitting board members. Veronica O'Brien was the only person graded who received a "F" from a majority of candidates (5 of 7). Diana Bourisaw received an "A" more often than any other person graded, but also received a "F" from Ron Jackson.

Every candidate graded Robert Archibald and Ron Jackson identically, giving both of them a "C," "D" or "F." Every candidate also graded Peter Downs and Donna Jones identically, giving the pair an "A" or "B," except for Paul Harris who gave them a "C" and Ron Jackson, who gave them a "D."

The questionnaire asked candidates if they favored declaration of a lead emergency in the City, how many of their children attend SLPS, how many 2006 board meetings they attended, and their approach to resolving problems confronting the City schools.

Full results of candidate responses to all questions are available at www.gateway-greens.org

The survey was in preparation for a forum for School Board candidates at 7 pm, Wednesday March 7 at Legacy Books and Café, 5249 Delmar (near Union). All candidates still in the race confirmed their intention of being at the forum. It is free and open to the public.

Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis
P.O. Box 8094, St. Louis MO 63156
314-727-8554 E-mail: fitzdon (at) aol.com www.gateway-greens.org
 
 

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