An effort to let parents send their children to the closest school even if they don’t live in the district has started working its way through the state senate
Sometimes students live at the edge of one school district and the bus ride to class each day can take more than 45 minutes each way—when they are within a few minutes of a school in another district. Senator Jane Cunningham’s proposal allows the closer district to admit the student if space is available.
The decision is now made by the state education department. She would have the decision made at the local school district level.
She says her bill clarifies some vagueness is existing law. It also clarifies who pays for transportation to the new district–the parents—and it clarifies which district gets state aid for that student.
Cunningham tells colleagues on the Senate floor superintendents sometimes go to unsafe lengths to keep a child in their district. She cites one who ordered his bus drivers to drive at what Cunningham says were dangerous speeds to children would get to school within 45 minutes.
The district is in southwest Missouri, near the Arkansas border.
She says the child’s mother videotaped the school bus speeding down the road.
Cunningham says her bill answers concerns about the resident district’s finances, defines who pays for tuition in the new district, and when the child can be enrolled. The senate has not taken a vote on her proposal yet.