SPRINGFIELD, IL. (KPLR) - It was the end of the line for the East St. Louis School Board today as the State Board of Education voted 8 to 0 to fire the entire City School Board and install the states own panel to run the East St. Louis School District.
The meeting was held Thursday in Springfield! The State Board emphasized that the move wasn't punitive in so far as the district was concerned but was necessary to insure a better school District to educate kids.
Today's action has been years in the making. You'll recall You Paid For it did extensive investigations into District troubles including the presence of so many board members relatives on the payroll.
We talked to State Education Superintendent Chris Koch today. He's the one who recommended to the State Board that they oust East St. Louis Board Members.
In addition to the Districts money woes and lack of academic progress Koch complained in a letter to the State Board that East St. Louis Board President Lonzo Greenwood got District contracts for his daughter and for the daughter and brother of another Board Member.
That despite the State objections the East St. Louis School Board voted to renew a lease of a facility that wasn't needed.
And also that the District had a contract with a Lawyer who didn't do legal work for the district.
The State first came in a year ago and took power from East St. Louis Board members but left the Board in place.
The Board had to get the states okay for each decision. But the state says board members ignored that order.
The Head of the East St. Louis Board Lonzo Greenwood came to a hearing in Springfield yesterday to plead for their jobs and for more time
But Wednesday it seems that time ran out.
There may be one more wrinkle in this saga.
The changes are supposed to take place in July. But a member of the East St. Louis School Board says they may sue to try and block the ouster, I'll keep you posted on that.
Meanwhile the State has picked its own panel to run the District ending the long reign of current school board members who got the boot Wednesday.