The Missouri House of Representatives has passed open enrollment. It’s sponsored by Rep. Brad Pollitt, R-Sedalia, who wants to let K-12 public schools decide if they want to allow students from neighboring districts to enroll in their district.

Pollitt on the House floor says that the receiving district gets the final say.

“The receiving district can determine how many students they’ll accept and what grades they’ll accept them in,” he explained. “Once a student is accepted, they remain in that district until they go back to their sending district or they graduate. They have to stay in the district one full year. There was a pamphlet that went around that said students could come and go as they please, that is not accurate.”

If it becomes state law, transfers can begin as soon as next school year.

Rep. Maggie Nurrenbern, D-Kansas City, says this legislation will “devastate rural communities.”

“Open enrollment will leave small school rural districts fighting for their lives against larger rural districts that have more resources and it will lead to district consolidation,” she said.

The state Senate will now consider Pollitt’s bill.

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