A bill has been filed that aims to fix problems with the state’s student transfer system without the contention of one that fell to a veto this year.
The Missouri law that lets students transfer out of failing schools to better performing ones at the expense of the failing districts threatens to bankrupt some districts. The issue was considered by many lawmakers the most important in the 2014 session
A bill to change the transfer law, or “fix” it in the words of most lawmakers, fell to a veto however because Governor Jay Nixon said it would have violated the state Constitution by allowing a way for public money to get to private schools. Many legislators opposed the so-called “private option,” so there were not enough votes to overturn his veto.
“There was a lot of good ideas that basically went down the tubes because of the private option,” Versailles Representative David Wood told Missourinet.
Wood is aiming for a more focused approach than was offered by that bill.
“I’m only going to look at the tuition portion of it, how we accredit school buildings inside an unaccredited school district and some other policy changes,” Wood said. “I haven’t touched on any of the private school option or any of the charter school changes that was in the previous bill.”
Wood proposes having accreditation determined by buildings rather than entire districts, and making the first transfer option for a student in an unaccredited building to be to go to better-performing school in the same district.
“It eliminates part of the transportation issue, you’re still getting them to a quality education, but you’re doing it inside the boundaries of that district,” said Wood.
Wood says he might offer separate bills to deal with the private and charter school options.
“For right now we’re just going to look at trying to keep from bankrupting the schools, having a fair tuition rate, and the way we actually look at the unaccredited buildings in the district.”
The new session begins January 7.