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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri education officials are planning a series of public hearings on ideas for helping unaccredited school districts boost student achievement.
   The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says it wants to hear what the public has to say about several plans it's received from education organizations as well as a study it commissioned.
   The department will use the feedback as it creates a statewide plan for supporting and possibly intervening in unaccredited schools. The agency plans to submit its recommendation to the State Board of Education next month.
   The first hearing takes place Wednesday in Kansas City. The second is Feb. 4 in St. Louis, and the last two are scheduled Feb. 6 in southeast and southwest Missouri.
   Comments can also be made online at:  http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/sia/msip/unaccrediteddistricts.html
 
 
Published in Local News

   CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A legislative panel studying a possible merger of St. Louis city and county governments is meeting in Clayton to hear public testimony on the idea.

   The Joint Interim Committee on St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area Governance and Taxation has a more straightforward mandate than its wordy name: help Missouri lawmakers determine whether combining the two governments into one makes fiscal and political sense.

   The city of St. Louis acts as its own county. Merger proponents say a union could save taxpayers money and reduce government duplication.

   Wednesday's hearing at the St. Louis County Council chambers in Clayton was scheduled to last more than five hours and consist entirely of public testimony.

 
Published in Local News

   After three years of lawsuits, developer Paul McKee is hoping to restart his stalled NorthSide Regeneration Project.

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the city's Tax Increment Finance Commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday on McKee's request for some changes to the $390 million TIF package that the Board of Aldermen had approved for for the project four years ago.  

   A spokesman for the project says they need officials to restart the clock the 1,500 acre redevelopment.  

   The public hearing also gives residents another chance to chime in.  

   McKee says if he wins the TIF changes, ground could be broken next spring on the 2 square mile development site north of downtown.

Published in Local News

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