Kansas City School Board Should Consider Ceding Control, Missouri Education Chief Says

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro has asked the Kansas City school board to consider giving up control of the district Jan. 1.

Nicastro raised the possibility last week in a closed-door meeting with the board. She provided a draft resolution that, if the board voted to take that action, would cede control of the district to a not-yet-created special administrative board.

People at the meeting, who asked to remain anonymous, said Nicastro’s proposal took board members by surprise. They said Nicastro advised the board members that if they did not step aside voluntarily Jan. 1, they risked being forced off.

Nicastro said Monday that she simply wants the board to be aware of its options.

“There are lots of points of view that need to be considered,” she said. “We need to consider all of our options, and the (Kansas City) school board should, too.”

The board has not taken any action on the draft resolution.

Airick Leonard West, the school board president, said Nicastro asked the board to consider the resolution at its regular meeting last Wednesday.

“This is too serious and too important of a resolution to consider on such short notice,” he said. “In addition, the absence of a plan from the state leaves too many questions about the achievement of our scholars.”

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