Backers and opponents of the transfer legislation that came out of the state Legislature this year both say they’re concerned the St. Louis-area Normandy school district will go bankrupt, but opponents say the legislation only push it closer to lapsing.
Representative Joe Adams (D-University City) is one of those critics.
“It’s a mechanism to take away their resources so they can’t do anything,” says Adams of the bill. “Before all this mess happened, Normandy had a huge budget surplus. It’s all gone. It’s ripped away from them.”
Some supporters say the measure addresses some of the social issues in Ferguson. Representative Clem Smith (D-Velda Village Hills) disagrees and says the proposal allows other districts to benefit.
“It’s almost like stealing a pension check from your grandmother,” said Smith. “She’s in the hospital. She’s sick. You’ve got her on life support. You can’t move but you can cash her pension check.”
Senate bill sponsor David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) says the bill is a good compromise.
“Ideally, if we can educate students in their home communities, that’s the best way to do it,” says Pearce. “The closer you can keep education to home is best for everyone. That doesn’t always work and so I think House Bill 42 provides us great options.”
The proposal would allow children in unaccredited school districts to transfer to higher-performing ones and places no limits on the amount of tuition charged for transfer students. The Governor has not said whether or not he plans to sign the measure.