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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Normandy reverses, will pay transfer tuition bills

Thursday, 14 November 2013 03:26 Published in Local News

   The Normandy School District will pay the tuition bills for students who've transferred away from the unaccredited district.  The school board voted Wednesday night to reverse its October decision to withhold the funds.  

   Board members had objected to paying the nearly $1.4 million bill because the cash strapped district is already struggling to cover the cost of educating its remaining students.  But withholding of the tuition had put the district at odds with state law, and in jeopardy of losing state funds.

  Parents and teachers again asked the board to reconsider planned budget cuts that will result in teacher layoffs and one school closure.

IL Lawmakers told to be ready for December session

Thursday, 14 November 2013 03:22 Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A top aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan is telling Illinois lawmakers to be ready for a special session in Springfield in December.

   Madigan chief of staff Tim Mapes told Democrats in an email Wednesday that a "possible" session could begin Dec. 3. He told lawmakers to "keep other days that week available."

   The email was sent around the time Madigan and other legislative leaders were meeting in Chicago to discuss a deal to solve the state's $100 billion pension crisis.

   Dec. 3 is the day after the deadline for candidates to file paperwork in the 2014 campaign, including anyone challenging incumbents.

   House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says progress is being made on pensions but any agreement is on hold until the cost savings of proposed solutions can be calculated.

 

Homeownership slips in STL area, but still high

Thursday, 14 November 2013 02:40 Published in Local News

   Homeownership in the St. Louis area remains among the highest in the nation, despite a recent decline.  

   Figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau today shows a homeownership rate of just over 70 percent from 2010 through 2012.  That's down almost two-percent from the prior three-year period.  But the current statistics put St. Louis second behind Minneapolis in the nation's 50 largest metro areas.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the numbers vary widely across the region, with more than 80 percent of homes in Jefferson and St. Charles counties being owner-occupied, compared with less than 45 percent in City of St. Louis. 

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