The long road to install a transition board to take control of the troubled St. Louis School District – the state’s largest – could be nearing an end … provided opponents don’t convince a judge in Jefferson City to delay or stop that scheduled change.

The change is set to take place Friday, but opponents appeared before Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan on Wednesday to request a restraining order.

Attorney Johnny Richardson, representing members of the St. Louis Board, argued the criteria used to unaccredit the St. Louis School District is flawed. But his bigger argument is that the State Board has exceeded its authority.

After close to four hours of arguments and two witnesses, including State Board of Education President Peter Herschend, who defended the decision to unaccredit as being in the best interests of the district’s 35,000 students, Judge Callahan hasn’t heard enough. He’s asked for written arguments to be submitted to him by 11 o’clock Thursday morning … with closing oral arguments set for Thursday afternoon.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)