Legislators Examine Unaccredited Schools Enrollment Policy

A group of Missouri lawmakers met Wednesday to look for solutions for a potential mass exodus from three of the state’s unaccredited school districts.

By Marshall Griffin (Jefferson City, Mo.)

The State Supreme Court recently ruled that students enrolled in St. Louis city schools, and any other failed district, have the right to transfer to nearby districts – and that the failed district has to pick up the tab.

Riverview Gardens in St. Louis County is also unaccredited, and Kansas City schools will lose their accreditation in January.  Joe Knodell with the Missouri Education Reform Council told a joint House-Senate committee that one possible solution would be to allow statewide open enrollment.

“I’d ask that you think of the plight of these students and parents that are kind of trapped by their zip code into these unaccredited or so-called failing schools, and hopefully a solution can be found for that.”

Other possible solutions mentioned include expanded access to charter schools and online classes.  The House/Senate Committee on School Accreditation also plans to hold hearings in St. Louis and Kansas City in the coming weeks.