Governor Jay Nixon (D) says his decision on a bill supporters say addresses problems with Missouri’s student transfer law will be announced soon.
The bill backers say is an answer to the problems caused by the transfer law would allow charter and virtual school expansion in St. Louis and Jackson Counties, let students transfer from poor-performing schools to better-performing ones in the same district, to charter schools, or to a virtual school, and would have the Department of Education accredit schools within districts.
Nixon says he’s close to saying whether he’ll endorse or reject the bill.
“We’re in the final stages of our review and you can expect a decision on [House Bill] 42 in the next couple of days, not weeks,” Nixon told reporters Wednesday. “We’re just getting to that time where we’re getting the details, we’re finishing up the review on that one, so stay tuned. That one’s going to come relatively quickly here.”
Senate sponsor David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) says he has no idea what Nixon will do.
“Somebody asked me this morning and I said, ‘Hey, give me a coin and I’ll flip it. Then I’ll have a better idea for you,'” Pearce told Missourinet.
Opponents, chiefly Democrats from St. Louis and Kansas City, say the bill won’t help struggling St. Louis schools and have urged Nixon to veto it. Their chief criticism about the bill is that it doesn’t limit the amount of tuition receiving districts can charge struggling districts for the students they take.
Proponents say the bill will help struggling schools like Normandy and Riverview Gardens, in the St. Louis region, by offering students options for a better education close to home.
If Nixon chooses to veto the bill, supporters would have to come up with more votes in the state House to overturn him. It received 84 votes on passage, but 109 would be needed to overturn a veto. In the Senate it passed with just enough votes for an override, at 23.