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Violent storms rocked the St. Louis metro area Wednesday evening, spawning tornadoes and strong winds that damaged buildings, toppled trees and downed power lines.
Storm damage and power outages have prompted some schools to cancel classes for Thursday.
Shenandoah Valley Elementary School in Chesterfield has canceled class after the storm tore the roof off the building.
All Hazelwood Schools are closed due to power outages. There are also concerns about fallen trees and debris blocking bus routes in the district.
Vianney High School has canceled classes over power issues as well.
Additional school closings will be added to this list if warranted.
But the budget proposed by Governor Pat Quinn would cut education spending by more than $300 million.
Many Illinois school districts are already operating on deficits after the state failed to fully fund its obligations for the past two years. Virtually every metro-east district is laying off teachers in anticipation of less state funding next year. Some are cutting sports programs and closing schools.
St. Clair County schools superintendent Susan Sarfaty told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "Districts are no longer cutting fat from their budgets — they’re cutting bone." Sarfaty says "there's no more fat to cut."
Superintendent Kelvin Adams says the small magnet high school was spared after parents and alumni developed a recruitment plan that will add 30 students to the incoming freshman class this fall. They'll build on that increased enrollment through partnerships with middle schools.
District officials still plan to close Sherman Elementary, L'Ouverture Middle School, Fresh Start South, Multiple Pathways, and Beaumont High School.
Plans to switch from a three-tier bell system to a two-tier system were scrapped. That will save the district more than $5 million next year.
There's no word if the pipe will be fixed in time for class on Wednesday.
St. Louis Public Schools superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams has said he will make several proposals at the 6 p.m. meeting of the special administrative board. Among his proposals, Dr. Adams is expected to recommend that some schools close next year and other be phased out as a cost-cutting measure.
Dr. Adams says several factors, including academic performance, would be considered in deciding which, if any, schools would close.
There has been wide-spread speculation that the Cleveland NJROTC Academy would be phased out, accepting no new freshmen after this year.
Wednesday’s Special Administrative Board meeting is at 6:00 p.m. at 801 North 11th Street.