Clovis Ouangraoua
Hundreds gathered in a recent meeting, in an attempt to voice their opinions against this measure, which would result in the closing of about 30 public schools in the St. Louis area because budget shortfalls and declining student population. However, questions remain regarding what will happen to the properties after they close.

Ironically, charter schools — along with several other categories of institutions — are to be banned from acquiring any of the properties, according to the measure's deed restrictions. Some officials have even considered selling buildings for a symbolic $1, and leaving the renovation to purchasing companies. Many think that the measure fails to consider the community's needs by artificially reducing available options.

I just can't comprehend why charter schools would not be allowed to acquire property that was previously owned by SLPS. Some might point out that charter schools are in competition with the district, but is this competition really a factor if those buildings can no longer fulfill their educational purposes? One might assume that schools of all types should "cooperate" with each other, for the betterment of all the city's children, but the reality is quite different.

Any opinions about this? Why do you think charter schools are being excluded?

About the Author

Clovis Ouangraoua