Thousands of students are fleeing two failing North St. Louis County school districts, following a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling that unaccredited schools will have to pay for students hoping for an education at an accredited school.
The past month has been confusing and arduous for both parents and the organizational body now charged with placing those students, Cooperating School Districts (CSD).
Both unaccredited districts had to select districts they would pay for transportation to -- Normandy chose Francis Howell, and Riverview Gardens chose Mehlville and eventually Kirkwood.
As space was limited in Mehlville and Kirkwood, CSD held a lottery last week to randomly place students in school districts. All Normandy parents hoping for their child to be educated at Francis Howell received a spot, but not all Riverview Gardens parents were so lucky. About 300 students did not receive a slot in any of their first three choices.
CSD has released numbers on student transfers as of August 1. If there are changes to the numbers, we will update our charts accordingly.
Update: CSD has released preliminary results from the lottery. You can see those here.
Students applied across the full spectrum of grades, although there is a significant dropoff for high school seniors.
An astounding number of students will be transferring this month: 2,640. Considering both Normandy and Riverview Gardens are small districts, that makes up a significant amount of their student bodies.
The unaccredited districts will have to foot the bill for tuition to any nearby district, and will have to pay for transportation to at least one of those districts. The total cost for the two schools is estimated to be $35,397,000.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel