Major changes in the way students in unaccredited school districts can seek better learning opporutnities have been approved by the state senate.
The issue became unavoidable a few months ago when the unaccredited Normandy district said it was going bankrupt next month because it is paying millions of dollars for students who’ve enrolled in accredited districts. Senate Leader Tom Dempsey says the legislature has to take some drastic steps. He has told the Senate, “This has been a very dramatic situation throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and it’s likely to get worse if we don’t address it.”
The bill lets the state rate school buildings as accredited or unaccredited, allowing students to transfer within the district, significantly reducing costs.
One of the few “no” votes came from Kansas City Senator Jason Holsman, who admits the bill handles the transfer issue. But he says other reforms attacking the reasons for student failure were thrown out. “That is the jobless rate in the urban core; that is nutrition; that is domestic violence; that is the transient nature of families; that is the socio-economic conditions by which our citizens live which inhibit their success,” he told colleagues during debate.
Several transfer bills have been introduced in the House including one by Budget Chairman Rick Stream that got its first committee hearing yesterday afternoon.