Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:08 pm
JEFFERSON CITY -- From the start of Monday’s six-hour session considering a variety of ways to help struggling schools, the head of the Missouri board of education emphasized that the state is concerned about long-range, broad-based policy, not the operations of individual districts.
But as board members heard a number of presentations on suggested reforms, the talk returned time and again to the current transfers out of unaccredited school districts and the impact on the students who live there.
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 joint House-Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on the effects of Missouri's school transfer law, which allows students from unaccredited K-12 schools to transfer to nearby accredited districts.
The 5 1/2-hour hearing kicked off with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Chris Nicastro telling the committee of the dire situation facing the state's unaccredited school districts.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 3:19 pm
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.
State education officials could step in quicker to assist failing Missouri school districts under legislation backed in the House.
Districts that lose state accreditation currently are given two years to improve before the state officials can intervene. The new legislation removes the waiting period.
When the state Board of Education revokes a district's accreditation, it then would decide whether to set conditions for the local school board to remain in place or determine when an alternative governing system for those schools would take effect.