Testimony has wrapped up in a legal challenge to the State Board of Education’s decision to remove accreditation from the St. Louis School District and to give power to an appointed transitional board acting in place of the elected board.
The challenge, being heard in the Cole County Courthouse in Jefferson City, was brought by members of the elected board, who claim state education officials jumped the gun in their determination that the school district was underperforming. The second of two days of testimony heard from two state witnesses, including State Board of Education member and former President Peter Herschend, who defended the decision to install the transitional board in St. Louis, based on several reasons – including poor performance.
In the audience were several members of the elected school board of St. Louis, who cackled and snickered at some of the answers provided by state witnesses. Those board members were warned by the judge that such behavior was not allowed in his courtroom.
Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan wants final briefs submitted to him by November 28th, with final arguments to be made December 7th.