The House sponsor of the proposed change to Missouri’s student transfer law says a special session to revisit the issue would be a wasted effort.
Representative Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) and other lawmakers who worked on the proposed transfer law fix are waiting to see whether Governor Jay Nixon (D) will veto the bill and call a special session, as the bill’s critics have called on him to do.
Stream says if those things happen, the first thing lawmakers will try to do will be to attempt to overturn Nixon’s veto. He says the Senate has the votes for the overturn, though it’s not clear if the House does.
“If it did not happen, and then he expected us to pass a different bill, he’s mistaken,” says Stream. “No different bill would be passed.”
Critics have accused the bill’s writers of only being interested in enacting a law that would let private schools draw tax dollars with transfers. Stream says the goal of the bill was to let students get out of poor performing districts as quickly as possible.
“This was one of the ways to do it,” Stream says, “To put them into charter schools and private schools close to their home, so they didn’t have to make the hour-long bus ride out to Francis-Howell or Kirkwood or Mehlville or anywhere else for that matter.”
Governor Nixon has said he will act soon on the bill.