Normandy school officials rally to save district

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-Parents of students in the Normandy School District were part of a gathering that was as much a grass roots rally as a meeting, Saturday.  School system officials were briefing them on their plans to save the troubled district from bankruptcy.  But it was immediately clear they consider political action to be as essential as anything.

Normandy is asking lawmakers in Jefferson City to pass legislation giving the district $5 million dollar to help operate and avoid bankruptcy.  The unaccredited district’s loss of students since being required by the state to pay for transfer and tuition has proven crippling.  

A quarter of the student body is now attending other schools, with the district footing the bill with $1.5 million they hadn’t budgeted.  

Families are trying to maintain hope that the district can recover, but in the current context no district has ever lost and then regained full accreditation.  

“I kept my kids in the district,” parent and graduate Greg Robinson said.  “So I’m hoping from the depths of my heart that we can fix this thing and keep Normandy going and going stronger and getting better over the coming years.”

Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing says allowing the district to fail will damage more than just the schools.

“It’s a downward cycle we are trying to stop.  How do you bring people here if the school district is struggling?  How do you increase property values when all these things are happening?  How do you tell businesses we want you to come?”

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