As the only homeowner who is running to be your next State Representative, fixing our schools is one of my top priorities. It is no secret our City Schools are in trouble. The State of Missouri has taken away local control; many teaching jobs remain unfilled and the quality of a St. Louis Public Schools diploma has been significantly reduced. In the end, it is truly our children who suffer. As your next State Representative, I want to work with other progressive city Legislators to bring about real change. My Excellence in Education Plan has four elements that can bring about real change for our kids. First, we need to attract the best teachers to teach our kids. Teachers who are in the top of their graduating class and agree to teach in the St Louis Public Schools should be awarded a signing bonus upon agreeing to a five-year commitment to stay and teach in city schools. Second, teachers who agree to teach and are qualified to teach in courses which are traditionally under served such as math, special education and science, should receive an additional bonus. Third, we need to fund programs that will engage our schools in before and after school learning opportunities. Offer early opening and late closing of schools for those students who want or need extra help in a specific subject or who truly want additional time with teachers to prepare them for future classes or college. Fourth, while some students excel in the traditional college preparatory environment, others excel in other areas of learning. The award winning avionics program at Gateway High School prepares students to go into the field of aviation. The United States Air Force and Boeing Corporation heavily recruit graduates of this program. Gateway is a shining example of a school that works; that offers opportunities to students who want a little something different. We should dedicate more funding to programs like this to help our kids in the areas they excel.