Is tax money for public school students in St. Louis or the schools?

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Charter school officials met Thursday night with parents in to educate them about a motion St. Louis Public School officials filed against the state of Missouri, seeking restitution for alleged overpayment to the charter schools in St. Louis.

St. Louis Public School officials are seeking as much as $50 million.

“It's tied to the desegregation settlement back in 1998. Their argument is against the state of Missouri and the way the calculations were figured to pay some charter schools, including some desegregation sales tax money,” said Doug Thaman, Ed.D, executive director of Missouri Charter Public School Association.

While parents are still learning the details, they fear what the court action could do to their school’s budgets.

“She's more focused on her education,” said Chrissy April, a charter school parent. “She's excited to come to school now. At first she would cry every day, ‘Mom, I don't want to go to school.’ So here the teachers show her the love; it's a family environment.”

Parent Jorie Schuckman added, “I looked at all the schools and at every opportunity. St. Louis Public Schools made us feel unwelcomed, unwanted. And now what they are saying to me is they want my money, they do not want my child.”

Thaman said the state has until May 8 to file a response. He would then expect there to be an investigation and time allowed for a hearing.

“What I have read so far, they are going to deduct $800 funding for each student,” said Nuh Celik, principal at Gateway Science Academy. “If this happens, I have roughly 450 students, when you multiply by 800 that comes out to about $400,000.”

A possible decision is expected in six to nine months.

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