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Partner Paul Brown helps St. Louis charter school start-up win $250,000 grant

February 23, 2012

The Walton Family Foundation announced last week that it is awarding a grant  to Lafayette Preparatory Academy, a charter school start-up that will serve downtown St. Louis and neighboring south side communities.

As co-chair of the Downtown St. Louis Residential Affairs Committee, Thompson Coburn partner Paul Brown helped organize the steering committee that is planning the school and serves as finance chairman and treasurer for Lafayette Preparatory Academy, Inc., the governing body for the proposed school. 

The academy will be a high-quality elementary school that will help keep young adults in these revitalized neighborhoods as they begin raising families. The Walton Foundation Grant will cover the school’s start-up costs prior to the school receiving its first charter payments from the state. The academy will open its doors to students in August 2013.

The grant is for $30,000 with a follow-on grant for an additional $220,000 when the school receives its charter from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

Lafayette Preparatory Academy will serve the neighborhoods of downtown, downtown west, King Luis Square, Lafayette Park, LaSalle Park, and Soulard. The school will open with a kindergarten and first and second grades, and will add one grade per year through fifth grade. Thereafter, a middle school and a high school will be opened to provide students in these neighborhoods with a high-quality education from kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Brown is a litigator in Thompson Coburn’s Toxic Tort group. His litigation experience includes the defense of 500 toxic exposure mass tort claims arising out of the transportation of hazardous materials by rail and the prosecution of a $30 million environmental clean-up and toxic tort liability cost recovery action.