House Approves Student Transfer Bill for Unaccredited Districts
May 1, 2014

(AP) – A proposal to overhaul a Missouri school transfer law won state House approval Wednesday after lawmakers pared back provisions that could allow some students to attend a private school at local taxpayers’ expense.

Legislators are seeking to revise a 1993 student transfer law after recent decisions by the state Supreme Court upheld the requirement for unaccredited districts to pay the costs of transferring students. Transfers have occurred this school year in the suburban St. Louis districts of Riverview Gardens and Normandy, and the financial strain prompted the state to approve funding to ensure Normandy gets through the school year. The Kansas City district also is unaccredited.

The House-backed measure would require accrediting individual schools along with entire school districts and allow transfers by students who have spent at least one semester at an unaccredited school within an unaccredited district. Transferring students could move to a better school within their home districts, or go to other school districts, charter schools or nonreligious private schools. A regional education authority would assign transferring students to a school and first would seek to fill seats within the unaccredited district.

The private school portion calls for districts to pay tuition using local tax revenues and has generated particular concern. House members limited it to school districts in St. Louis city, St. Louis County and Jackson County and required approval from local voters.

Student Transfer Bill Heads for Mo. Senate
February 20, 2014

AP) – A Missouri Senate committee has advanced legislation on student transfers and unaccredited school districts, clearing the way for debate by the full chamber.

The Senate Education Committee endorsed the bill Thursday. Committee Chairman David Pearce, a Republican from Warrensburg, says the vote is a huge step.

Numerous bills have been filed this year to address struggling school districts and a state law requiring unaccredited districts to pay tuition and transportation costs for students who transfer to a nearby accredited school. The law has led to financial problems for unaccredited districts and concerns among accredited schools about the number of transfers they must accept.

Students have transferred during the current academic year out of St. Louis County’s unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts. The Kansas City district is also unaccredited.
Kansas City Democrat Jason Holsman voted AGAINT the plan.
He objects to an amendment that was attached to the bill.
The amendment would permit fleeing students to transfer to a non sectarian private school.
Holsman opposes uses public money for a private school in this manner.