Seeking Actually-Possible Plans and Resources to Prevent School Closures
This post is to demand the politicians and organizations who demanded delays for the St. Louis Board of Education’s vote on school closure provide plans and resources to make up for the financial resources the district is lacking.
Here is a sample letter (well, make it your own/tailor it to groups):
You demanded SLPS/BoE delay the vote on school closing in a ostensible display of concern for neighborhoods, communities, buildings. I am writing to demand that you provide what resources you have access to and what solutions you can provide for the children in SLPS’s neighborhood schools.
Dr. Adams and I have our disagreements, but he is not a magician. He can’t simply produce more money out of thin air to provide stable & fully staffed buildings. I suggested closing the south city gifted schools (60% & 70% white, a very well funded PTO [probably orders of magnitude greater than most schools], so few poor kids they are not able to qualify for Title I money like the rest of the district!) but my suggestion was not well received by the gifted community, and Dr. Adams said the desegregation order would prevent those closures from happening. However, it was a sincere effort to make the most privileged bear the burden of these budget struggles.
You have access to a lot of rich and powerful people. What can you do to make the racism, the indifference, the disinvestment right, right now?
I need to see a plan or I will be forced to write you off as yet another organization/politician who uses spurious concern for SLPS at convenient times to manipulate St. Louis citizens, but actually makes decisions or pursues policies that further diminish the district, whether it’s reducing our enrollment or reducing the amount of revenue that we receive.
Here are some suggestions:
* Demand commitments from all your big donors to create an endowment that will fund north city schools for years to come
* Use your strength and connections to demand that county entities pay a white flight/greenlining/educational reparations tax (perhaps that can fund the endowment?)
* Demand a charter school moratorium; refuse to sponsor or delight in these entities that play such a big part in SLPS’s struggles
* Get right to the root cause of another of SLPS’s struggles and provide universal basic income for district families
* Before giving us coats and backpacks, make sure all the parents in the district are being paid fair wages at a job that doesn’t take hours to get to
* Create more non-slummy housing for families that need three bedrooms
* Demand whoever is in charge of it to create a more equitable funding situation than property tax
*refuse to let charter schools get access to tax breaks and capital that SLPS is unable to access because they are just a plain ol’ public school district
* do what it takes to re-do the de-seg order so that the majority of Black children are able to benefit
* Put your children in St. Louis Public neighborhood schools (and not just the majority/plurality white ones) in a demonstration of solidarity with the families you claim to speak for.
* work out a deal with the city to do something about the unused buildings, free the district from the millstones
* If you want to dismantle the public school system, please just go ahead and say so instead of being all devious
* if you think your family is too good for SLPS, please just go ahead and say so, instead of dancing around the issue
* repent publicly for not doing the things that you should’ve to care for the children in SLPS’s care, and for doing things that harm the children in SLPS’s care
I look forward to seeing your leadership and ingenuity bring the resources the district requires. I hope that you can cultivate a fruitful relationship with the district in the future that will enable the district’s growth, both in enrollment and revenue, making St. Louis stronger and healthier, a place where children can safely learn and be loved.
Contact information for the various groups/politicians:
WePower staff: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Emily@wepowerstl.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Board: Roo Yawitz, Claudia Mendoza, Crystal Martin, Michael Butler, Abdul-Kaba Abdulla, April Fulstone, Ryan Strode
Forward Through Ferguson:
Staff: https://forwardthroughferguson.org/team/ (contact form, no staff emails) email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
(board members probably firstname@)
Board: Phillip Boyd | Zack Boyers | Trina Dyan Clark James | Josina Greene | Alicia Hernández | Justin Idleburg | Adelaide Lancaster | Elise Miller Hoffman | Gary Parker | Melanie Powell-Robinson | Claire Rippel | Dara Taylor | Nelson Williams
Dutchtown South Community Corporation:
Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Board:Elena Sabin, Richard Reilly, Lucas Delort, Kimberly Hicks-Franks, Douglas Potts, Sarah Caldera Wimmer, Adit Kurella, Alex McDonnell, Georin LaGrant, Jeff Kociscak
board members (so very fancy!)
President and Chief Executive Officer
St. Louis Community Foundation
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation
Research & Data Catalyst
Forward through Ferguson
Former Vice President of Community Development
Karl Guenther GuentherK@umsl.edu
Assistant Vice Chancellor of Economic & Community Development
University of Missouri-Saint Louis
President & CEO
Nicole Hudson email@example.com
Academy for Diversity & Inclusion, Washington University
President & CEO
Brian Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Director & Assistant Vice Chancellor
Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation
Senior Project Officer, CEO Initiatives
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Arch City Defenders
Henry Webber, Board Chairperson
Executive Vice Chancellor, Administration
Professor of Practice, George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Sam Fox School of Art & Architecture
Lyda Krewson (bahahahah like she cares at all…) email@example.com
mayoral candidates: Tishaura Jones, https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/treasurer/about-treasurer-tishaura-jones.cfm
Cara Spencer firstname.lastname@example.org
contact info for aldermen (sorry I’m getting too tired)
https://coribush.org/contact ??? does she have a government email yet?
Contact form for Doug Thaman, executive director of the Missouri Charter Public Schools Association: https://www.mocharterschools.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1563624&type=u
Missouri Charter School Commission: email@example.com
Email for Robbyn Wahby, executive director of the Missouri Charter School Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org
You might want to call her on this exceptionally offensive statement:
And Robbyn Wahby, executive director of the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, said, “The growth of charter schools is the one thing that has provided options for families to stay in the city and neighborhoods they love and communities they love. I hope this is the first of many conversations about the need for more high quality schools.” (from STLtoday)
the one thing…. the families whose 18,000 children are in the public schools would maybe like to ask whether they exist. (Sorry that just made me sooo mad.)
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY sponsors TWO charter school networks:
Contact Lori Sommer to ask them why: email@example.com
(of note, the KIPP schools are almost 100% black, I don’t know if that’s by design but…)
ST LOUIS UNIVERSITY sponsors City Garden, a school that has been influential in turning a neighborhood much much whiter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask them why that’s okay and why they’re still planning on expanding.
UMSL sponsors some too. email@example.com (the B is for Bill, he’s in charge)
The OPPORTUNITY TRUST supports charter schools and “innovation” and “educational leadership” [to start more charter schools] but … I don’t trust them — they are contributing in every way to the instability at SLPS. firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com