Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:48 am
The Missouri Senate has begun debate on legislation to lessen the effects of the state's student transfer law.
The wide-ranging bill attempts to address both the law and unaccredited districts. Provisions within Senate Bill 493 include accrediting individual school buildings instead of districts as a whole and creating regional authorities across the state to oversee transfers.
Missouri lawmakers are facing pressure to address a student transfer law and unaccredited school districts.
The law requires school districts without state accreditation to cover the costs for students who want to attend an accredited district within the same county or a bordering one. It makes no exceptions for those without room for new students.
Missouri now has three unaccredited districts. About 2,000 students have transferred from two districts in St. Louis County and transfers could start soon in Kansas City.
A proposal to circumvent thousands of potential student transfers in the Kansas City area will be considered by the state legislature next year.
If passed, the proposal would allow local school districts to set class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, and once reached, those districts could not be forced to accept transfer students from unaccredited school districts. The bill has been pre-filed by Democratic Senator Paul LeVota of Independence.