Local Mayors Say “Not Without Us” at Town Hall
Uniting to Address the Education Crisis in Normandy Schools
View the Q&As from this town hall
Download the mayors’ position statement
View the Leadership School’s charter application
Provide a public comment on the Leadership School application:
- Rachel Uptergrove
Director of Charter Schools
DESE Charter Schools Program Office
- Missouri Charter Public School Commission
Local mayors believe public education can prepare Normandy’s young people for the future, but right now it’s failing too many of them. To address this ongoing crisis, the mayors are speaking out against outside influence in decisions that directly impact Normandy’s families and students.
“Not Without Us” is the 24:1 Municipal Partnership’s rallying cry to ensure public and charter schools’ governance is locally elected, accountable, and attuned to the needs of every student.
“We have to focus on increasing the opportunities for all of our students, not just a few,” said Victoria Valle, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Glen Echo Park. “We have to get broader support, build understanding of what’s going on, and get all of our citizens involved in this process.”
On Thursday, Nov. 19, the mayors in the 24:1 Municipal Partnership shared their position on the current crisis and invited the community to come together for action. More than 200 community residents attended the town hall, hosted virtually on Zoom and Facebook Live.
The elected city leaders started the evening with a historic perspective on the Normandy school district, including both its strengths and its challenges due to societal and economic changes in the 23 municipalities within the district’s borders. They also discussed the current situation for Normandy students as well as their beliefs and calls to action.
The 24:1 Municipal Partnership’s goal is to impact decisions about the future of education in the Normandy Schools Collaborative—rather than letting outsiders make decisions about our children’s futures. This includes a charter school sponsored by the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, which was approved without any substantial input from the 24:1 Community.
“This is not a matter of opposing any particular school,” Valle said. “It is a matter of governance.”
The mayors are strong advocates for local elected leadership at any charter school that opens within the Normandy footprint, including a public voice in both students’ education and use of public tax dollars. They also intend to support the Normandy Schools Collaborative in its ongoing efforts to improve educational quality.
The mayors have drafted a position statement that goes into more detail. They will continue to revise it as more feedback is gathered from the 24:1 Community.
“We as elected leaders are speaking for those who may not have a voice in this matter,” said Mayor Brian Jackson of Beverly Hills. “Why would you come into someone else’s community and not even ask them if you’re bringing something they want? That’s why we keep coming back to our main theme: Not without us.”
The 24:1 Municipal Partnership is planning future opportunities for community engagement so that all voices can be heard on this important topic. Please check our241.com for updates and follow us on Facebook.