Thursday, May 12, 2011

State Takes Over East St. Louis Schools

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2011 at 8:34 AM

click to enlarge Superintendent Theresa Saunders is out of a job. - ESTLPS189.NET
  • Superintendent Theresa Saunders is out of a job.
Man, rough couple days for East St. Louis.

On Tuesday it was announced that the city will lose its one and only hospital when Kenneth Hall Regional (formerly St. Mary's) closes after 120 years.

Then, yesterday, the city's school board agreed to cede control of the district to the Illinois State Board of Education after agreeing that the troubled district needs a top-to-bottom makeover. 

Student performance within the district has dropped steadily over the years. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that just 10.75 percent of the district's high school students currently test at state standards.

The decision by the school board means that superintendent Theresa Saunders will have to find herself a new job. The state will select its own administrator during the minimum three years it will need to turn the district around.

The Post-Dispatch notes that East St. Louis' former mayor, Carl Officer (a current school board member), has been highly critical of Saunders. Among the things he's nitpicked is the fact that she chooses to live in Lafayette Square in St. Louis and -- after six years on the job -- still has Michigan license plates on her cream-colored Cadillac, suggesting she still pays her personal property taxes to Michigan.

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