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Cahokia to vote on bond for a new high school

by Craig Cheatham

KMOV.com

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 8 at 10:25 PM

(KMOV) -- How do you sell something you desperately need when you have little credibility and the potential buyers can't afford it?

That's the dilemma facing the Cahokia school board, which is trying to pass a $32 million bond for a new high school. The current 60 year old school is plagued with problems, but the mostly poor community is already over-taxed, and rejected the last bond by more than a 2-1 margin.

If that's not enough, the school board has a major credibility problem. One former member, Michael Baxton, pleaded guilty recently to federal crimes he committed while he was the police chief in East St. Louis and the village of Alorton. A year and a half ago, a News 4 investigation revealed that the board traveled more often and for more money than any metro area board we examined. And, finally, the district spent $1.6 million on previous plan to build a new high school, a plan that was rejected by the voters, and the plan that is now obsolete. Of course, that means it was a waste of $1.6 million.

Yikes!

It's a tough sell in Cahokia, a community that seems to show little interest in the issue, and has already rejected one bond in the last year. Round two is March 20.

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