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Charter Schools May Be Option for Urban Students

April 1, 1998
By: Caroline Noel
State Capital Bureau
Parents concerned about the condition of urban high schools may have a new alternative for their children. Caroline Noel reports from the Capital.

St. Louis Senator Frank Flotron has long been a supporter of charter schools, which would use state money intended for existing public schools to set up new institutions, with their own teaching methods and autonomy. The hope is to boost student performance and stem the rising high school dropout rate.

Residents of urban districts in St. Louis and Kansas City would have the option of charter schools under a provision of the desegregation bill approved by the Senate. Sponsor Flotron says it will provide urban students with access to better opportunities.

Actuality:"Unfortunately less affluent students don't have those options and this creates some options for them."
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Although Flotron's original proposal called for the creation of charter schools in any district that had a 65% or lower graduation rate, he was willing to compromise. He comments, "It was very simple. It was politics. There were a number of rural legislators who were adamantly opposed to the creation of charter schools in their districts." The charter school provision is part of the desegregation bill that is still being debated in the Senate. From Jefferson City this is Caroline Noel


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