KC Superintendent Calls Mo. Supreme Court Decision Non-Issue

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(KTVI) – The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a state statute that allows students in failing or unaccredited school districts to transfer to neighboring districts. The unaccredited district is required to pay for the transferring students’ education and transportation.Tuesday’s ruling rejected claims that school transfers would impose unfunded authority on thriving, accredited districts.

Kansas City School Superintendent Stephen Green told FOX 4 in KC that school transfers may soon become a non-issue in their district. “We’ve moved ahead of a number of districts and we are well on the way toward a provisional accreditation this year and really are marching toward full accreditation next year.”

Despite Green’s lack of concern, FOX 4 reports that school transfers could bankrupt both neighboring districts and the Kansas City district. Kansas City may be left with fewer students in schools while simultaneously paying transportation and tuition for students moving to different districts. FOX 2’s Jeff Bernthal reports schools would lose out on funding for every student that leaves.

Bernthal says the St. Louis court battle was waged by a St. Louis Public School parent wanting her child to attend the Clayton School District. Bernthal quotes Clayton School District spokesperson Chris Tennill as saying: “We’re very disappointed in the Missouri Supreme Court’s opinion.” Elkin Kistner, the case’s winning attorney, told Bernthal that districts will have little choice accepting students from unaccredited schools: “I would think it would be a tough sell if you`re a district and you came into court resisting parent`s efforts to get a child in.”

There are currently three Missouri school districts lacking accreditation: Normandy, Riverview Gardens, and Kansas City.

By: Christina Santiago Turner