The state Senate is expected to debate proposed changes to the student transfer law this week.
Four bills had been proposed that would take different approaches at changing the law that lets students in poor-performing schools transfer to better performing ones, at the expense of the sending school. A Senate Committee combined those into one.
Senator David Pearce says one goal is to reduce the number of students transferring.
“As opposed to crediting by entire districts, what we want to do is have an accreditation process by building, so if students are in unaccredited buildings, they would have the option to go to accredited buildings in their district before they transfer out,” Pearce told Missourinet.
Pearce says Governor Jay Nixon’s influence means this year’s bill won’t include a so-called “private option,” that would have let tax dollars to go private schools in some circumstances.
“He said if that wasn’t in … he would entertain an expansion of charter schools and entertain an expansion of virtual schools, and so that’s kind of where Senate Bill 1 is headed this year,” said Pearce.
Nixon said that provision caused him to veto last year’s version of the bill.
Some have criticized that the bill goes too far.
“The transfer issue should focus on those students in unaccredited districts, and I do think version that came out of the Senate Education Committee goes beyond that, and I think it’s almost an open enrollment for virtual schools for the entire state,” said Pearce. “That’s probably something that we will take a look at as we debate on the floor.”
The senate will not be in session today due to weather, so it’s debate schedule for the rest of the week could be adjusted as well.