Slay said he envisioned a wide range of charter schools that would operate independently of his office but would be accountable to him for their performance. Charter schools are public schools led by their own boards, but they can be closed by the entities that authorized their formation.
Slay said his support of charters should not be interpreted as hostility to traditional public schools. Even so, he offered harsh words for the failure of city schools, which he said continued to push families out of the city.
Charter schools aren't an educational cure-all, and the only way to solve the crisis in public schooling is to give market forces free reign. With that said, charter schools are a big step in the right direction. They provide educational options to underperforming students and allow for more specialized curricula than the traditional one-size-fits-all model. St. Louis lags behind Kansas City in charter schools--Mayor Slay could help it catch up.