Study: Nearly 8,000 Could Flee KC Public Schools

KC Star:

Five area school districts challenging Missouri’s transfer law project that more than 7,750 students would transfer to their schools from Kansas City Public Schools’ neighborhoods if the law were upheld.
The capital costs needed to provide temporary classrooms and equipment could total more than $3.9 million, the districts’ attorney argued in a Jackson County courtroom Monday — costs he said are not covered in allowable tuition fees under the law.
The districts claim that the state statute violates the Hancock Amendment of the Missouri Constitution, which bars the state from imposing an unfunded mandate on public institutions, including school districts.
The hearing began Monday with opening statements in a case that follows a similar one in St. Louis County, where a court has already ruled that the statute is unconstitutional and impossible for the St. Louis area districts to fulfill. That ruling is under appeal.
“The tuition will be underestimated,” said Duane Martin, representing the Blue Springs, Independence, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown school districts. “And we will never be able to recapture it.”
The Missouri attorney general’s office defended the statute, saying the districts are basing their projected costs on “hearsay” evidence gathered through a telephone survey. The districts do not have evidence to show that their costs on taxpayers will be more than the tuition Kansas City would be required to pay under the law, the state said.
The survey, by Patron Insight in Stilwell, gathered responses from 600 families, representing at least 1,184 students. They included families in Kansas City Public Schools as well as families in private schools, charter schools and home-schoolers living in the district.
The survey analysis made what the districts described as a conservative estimate that 7,759 students would transfer, but far fewer have actually made inquiries about changing districts, school administrators testified.

One Response

  1. Reblogged this on KC Education Enterprise.

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