Write State School Board Today To Support Elected School Board

The Missouri State Board of Education meets tomorrow morning (Tuesday, February 19th).

Governance of St. Louis Public Schools is on the Agenda.

Please write to the State Board of Education at sbe@dese.mo.gov and request that they vote to approve returning governance of St. Louis Public Schools to our elected School Board.

My letter to the State Board of Education:

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman





By Thursday- Send Letters Of Support For Elected School Board

schoolBy Thursday, January 11th, 2018: Please send letter of support for Elected School Board, transition from Appointed Special Administrative Board back to Elected Board, to either the SAB directly (address below) or to AFT (stopping@stltu.org), which is collecting letters for delivery to AFT. Here is the letter that I emailed.
Task Force on Alternative Governance
Special Administrative Board
801 N 11th
Saint Louis, Missouri 63101January 9, 2018

Dear Task Force Members:

I ask that you support return of governance for St. Louis Public Schools to our Elected School Board.

Governance of a school district by an appointed board is taxation without representation. Children are taught in our public schools that taxation without representation is wrong and led to the American Revolution. It was wrong in the 18th Century and it is wrong today.

As someone who attended one of the special meetings by the Task Force, my read on the room was it was overwhelmingly supportive of returning control of our schools to our Elected Board.

As an elected Democratic Committeewoman, I can tell you that voters in my ward overwhelming support our schools being governed by our elected School Board.

As someone who has spent considerable time in rural Missouri, I can also tell you that drama and financial intrigue happens to school districts big and small, urban and rural districts alike. The solution, for all districts, is better training for Board members to ensure excellence in their oversight of our tax dollars and education of children.

Please support the people of St. Louis City as we call upon you, in a loud, commanding, but respectful voice, to give our schools back to us, the voters.

Marie Ceselski
7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman
1911 S 11th
Saint Louis, Missouri 63104

Vote No On Proposition 1

Take a stand against the unethical campaign by St. Louis Public School District’s Special Administrative Board. Vote No on Proposition 1.

Don’t Support Taxation Without Representation. Vote No on Proposition 1.

Don’t Trust the St. Louis Public School District’s Special Administrative Board to spend more of your tax dollars. Vote No on Proposition 1.


Numerous complaints have been filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission (by 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman Marie Ceselski, 15th Ward Democratic Committeewoman Missy Pinkerton McDaniel, possibly others) regarding violations of campaign finance and election laws by the St. Louis Public Schools District and its Special Administrative Board.

  • SLPS/SAB has used school district funds and resources to support the property tax increase campaign.
  • SLPS/SAB has failed to properly report expenditures made on behalf of the campaign and properly report who paid for campaign expenditures.


Even after the SAB was informed of those two complaints and more, it continues to spend public funds on the campaign. Voters received several mailers identified as paid for by the SLPS but “for informational and educational purposes” and “not intended to advocate, support, or oppose Proposition 1.” In reality, they were advocacy pieces. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it’s a duck.

SLPS continues to use staff and resources, including its website to push for passage of Proposition 1.

Under normal circumstances, MEC would have already rendered a judgment against SLPS/SAB. Unfortunately for taxpayers and voters across Missouri, the terms of three of six members of MEC expired March 15 and there is no quorum to conduct business.

“Tuesday’s municipal elections across Missouri are being conducted in an ethics-free zone,” wrote Tony Messenger in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A vote against Proposition 1 is a vote against an unethical campaign that may never be held accountable because of a massive system failure.

The voters of St. Louis City elect a Board of Education to govern the St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS). Our elected school board, however, has no power over policy or budget of the SLPS.

Instead, SLPS is currently governed by a three member Special Administrative Board appointed by the Governor, St. Louis City Mayor, and City Board of Aldermen President. The SAB is not accountable to voters. Voters had no say in the change and cannot undo it.

This year the SLPS qualified for full accreditation, the first step toward returning control of our schools back to our elected board. The Missouri School Board, however, trusts the SAB more than an elected board to run things and in January extended the stay of the SAB by at least three years.

Your vote against Proposition 1 is a vote against taxation without representation.

The ballot issue says the proposed new revenue would be spent, in part, on “competitive salaries” for “teachers and staff.” Staff could very well mean administrators, more people with fancy titles. Staff could mean hiring someone to run another unethical campaign, maybe next time a slate of candidates for school board.

Your vote against Proposition 1 is a No Confidence Vote against the Special Administrative Board.

Do our public schools need more money? Yes.

Are there people we respect that support Proposition 1? Yes.

Are either reason enough to vote for it. No.

Please join 7th Ward Independent Democrats and 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman Marie Ceselski and Vote No on Proposition 1 this Tuesday, April 5th.