Parents in the Normandy School District plan to hold a town hall meeting Monday to discuss the financial and academic problems in the struggling district.
Last week the school board voted to cut more than 100 jobs, including 70 teachers and close Bel Nor Elementary School in an effort to keep from going bankrupt over of the costs of the state-mandated transfer program. The unaccredited district must pay for more than 1,000 students to attend schools in other districts.
But the School board voted last week not to pay the tuition and transportation bills associated with those transfers.
The Normandy Schools Town Hall Organization will host a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Natural Bridge Branch of the St. Louis County Library.
Normandy Schools Superintendent Ty McNichols will outline proposed budget cuts at Thursday night's school board meeting. But Wednesday, district officials briefed employees about the plan as the struggling district tries to cover transfer costs for hundreds of students.
Teachers learned yesterday that 103 of the district's 650 employees will lose their jobs by the end of December. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that layoff notices will go out next month.
District officials say class sizes could go as high as 29 students and Bel-Nor Elementary School is expected to close.
The district is projecting a $6.8 million shortfall this school year because of the added cost of the state mandated school transfer program.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a measure into law reopening the federal government and averting a potential default.
The White House says Obama signed the bill early Thursday, hours after the House gave final approval.
The White House budget office has already instructed federal workers to plan to return to work Thursday morning.
The measure restores funding for the government through Jan. 15 and extends the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
The partial government shutdown started Oct. 1. The U.S. was to reach its debt limit Thursday if no deal was reached.
As the deal neared final passage in the House Wednesday, Obama said it was now time for leaders in Washington to win back the trust of Americans that was lost during the debt-and-spending crisis.
Normandy school officials are eyeing cuts to cover the $15 million in tuition costs for 1,600 students who transferred out of the unaccredited district. Superintendent Ty McNichols says he's begun identifying teachers and programs that will fall to the budget ax.
McNichols told a group of about 40 people gathered a a policy breakfast at the Show-Me Institute Tuesday that he's also working to bolster academics, attendance and the graduation rate in the failing district. But he says he doesn't expect to make big advances before the next transfer application deadline rolls around in February.
Normandy has just two months to pay the first of the tuition bills which arrived last week, or the Missouri education department will withhold funding.
Seventeen East St. Louis firefighters will lose their jobs at the end of the month. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that City Manager Deletra Hudson sent a letter to the firefighters saying the city "has been forced to make some difficult financial decisions to meet its budgetary obligations."
The firefighters had been hired with federal grant money. When the grant ran out in March, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks said the city found some extra money to keep the firefighters on the job until the end of September.
Parks told the paper that he expects eight of the laid off firefighters to be called back when the new city budget kicks in January 1st.
East St. Louis currently employs 54 firefighters.
WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) - The mayor the village of Washington Park, Illinois says city leaders are talking about disbanding the police department.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports Thursday that Washington Park Mayor Ann Rodgers says the village's financial situation is bleak. She says a number of options are being considered but nothing has been finalized. The village's police chief, Aubrey Keller, has previously suggested the department be abolished.
Keller says the department has a staff shortage and is paying overtime costs.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly also agrees that abolishing the department is an option.
Washington Park has a $7 million deficit and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has called for the state attorney general to investigate the village's finances.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Air Force streamlining efforts mean nearly three dozen civilian jobs have been cut at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the 33 jobs at Scott's Air Force Network Integration Center were eliminated when a contract with the workers' employer ended at the end of last month.
But Col. Brenda Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space Command at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base, says the lost Illinois jobs will translate to nine new in-house positions at Peterson.
Campbell says the Air Force will save money long-term through the consolidation.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is warning of employee layoffs and cuts to services if legislators pass a budget that reduces funding for the states' motor vehicle division.
Nixon said Wednesday that lawmakers were acting irresponsibly to put forward a budget that would fund the division for only the first two-thirds of the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that the partial funding was intended as an incentive for Nixon's administration to stop making electronic copies of personal documents of people applying for driver's licenses. They said lawmakers could provide the rest of the money when they return to the Capitol next January.
But Nixon called the partial-year funding unprecedented. The Democratic governor said he would treat it as an annual appropriation and cut accordingly.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government won't make a decision for years on whether to close Scott Air Force Base, but leaders in southwest Illinois fear growing budget pressures in Washington could affect the facility's future.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Illinois congressmen are working to keep the base open even though the next round of base closures won't take place until at least 2015.
Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the newspaper that the base's fate is at risk if Congress doesn't reform entitlement programs. Defense Department officials have said that the facility has more infrastructure than needed.
Civilian workers at the base near Mascoutah are already scheduled to start taking 20 days of unpaid furloughs between May and September as a result of a series of automatic federal budget cuts.
PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION, Fla. (AP) - The U.S. Navy has canceled the remainder of the elite Blue Angels demonstration team's 2013 season because of federal cuts.
The commander of Naval air forces announced the decision on Tuesday.
The Blue Angels have performed at air shows around the world for more than 60 years. The fighter pilots selected to serve a two-year tour with the team are among the world's best and are often graduates of the Navy's famed Top Gun air tactics school.
A spokesman for the Navy said team members would be allowed to fly minimal hours to maintain flight proficiency in the F/A 18 fighter jets, but the six-jet squadron would discontinue group practices for the remainder of the season.