Jane Turner
9:10 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

A Year After Decision In Student Transfer Case, Mother Who Started It All Reflects

Jane Turner, mother of two, led the suit against the Clayton School District in 2007.
Credit Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

A  year ago today, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that students who live in unaccredited school districts should be able to transfer to better schools, with their home districts having to foot the bill. The decision opened the door for about 2,000 kids in the north county districts of Normandy and Riverview Gardens to transfer to nearby schools. 

Jane Turner, a mother of two, started the legal battle seven years ago. She was fighting for the then-unaccredited St. Louis Public School District to pay her sons' tuition bill to attend neighboring Clayton schools. 

A year since the landmark ruling, Turner has had time to reflect:

Jane Turner, standing before family photos, including pictures of her two sons.
Credit Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

  • The lifelong St. Louisan says she's been sad to see young families leaving the city once the kids reach school age: "And I was hopeful that with this lawsuit that we could reverse that pattern. That families would stay in the city, and other families would choose to live in the city. That more people would see the city as a viable place to raise a family."
  • Turner admits her family is different from some of the families who now take advantage of the transfer law. Many are black and live in poorer areas of north county. But Turner sees how much all the families have in common. She told of a family from Riverview Gardens. "The father said I will do whatever it takes. I will drive great distances if that's what I have to to assure my child get a good and proper education. And that is the parent I identify with," Turner said.

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