North St. Louis County's Normandy School District pointed to a variety of things to entice parents to keep their kids in the district: partnerships and collaboration with nearby universities, new technology, and more staff training.
But for the parents of 1,151 Normandy kids, it just wasn’t enough. If you compare it to last year’s enrollment, that means 28 percent will be fleeing the failing school district.
The exodus comes after a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling upholding a law that unaccredited schools will have to pay for travel and tuition to an accredited school, if the parent chooses. But the school is still in talks with those that applied to leave.
“I hope that the changes we put in place will persuade you to decide to stay in Normandy,” new superintendent Ty McNichols told the crowd at a press conference Thurday evening.
Along with the students that are leaving, the school stands to lose around $15 million -- all money that’s going out of the district, and won’t go toward gaining accreditation.
The district will have to look at prioritizing - and possibly cutting - resources.
“That’s no different than any other school when you lose resources and you lose students and you lose money, you have to adjust," McNichols said. "And we will make those adjustments appropriately. I can’t guarantee you what programs or what staff will need to be cut. I’m hoping all of our students will come back so we don’t have to make that decision.”
But with school beginning in such a short amount of time, that prospect seems highly unlikely. Riverview Gardens is another North St. Louis County school district grappling with students leaving for accredited schools. On Friday, we will have more on the school transfer situation.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel