On Monday, the Ferguson Florissant School District will kick off its academic year and become home to the second most transfer students in the St. Louis region.
Sitting between the two unaccredited districts in St. Louis County, Riverview Gardens and Normandy, more than 400 transfer students have been placed in the accredited Ferguson Florissant School District, according to the latest numbers released by the Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis, which is coordinating school transfer process.
The body charged with placing the thousands of students looking for a better education has released preliminary results of last week's lottery.
The lottery took place after a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling that upheld a law that says students from unaccredited districts can transfer to accredited districts, paid for by the failing school.
Just weeks away from its implementation, the Kirkwood School District held an informational meeting Tuesday night to answer questions from parents and residents about the school transfer process.
The basic message from speakers was this: The system is flawed, the law is broken, there wasn’t nearly enough planning, the legislature is dysfunctional, and what happens if we get sued? But we need to do everything in our power to make sure the incoming students get the best possible education we can provide.
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).
The organization overseeing the school transfer process for students in unaccredited districts is still working on placing students Monday. Registration for the lottery ended last week, but Cooperating School Districts is still trying to figure out what to do with those that missed the deadline.
About 2,600 students applied for transfer by last week's deadline, making up roughly a quarter of the student population in the two unaccredited districts.
All Normandy students who applied to go to Francis Howell were placed, and will receive transportation paid for by the unaccredited district.
But many Riverview Gardens students who applied to transfer to Kirkwood or Mehlville, the transportation options for that district, did not receive spots because the receiving districts ran out of room.
The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling on Breitenfeld v. School District of Clayton on June 11 reversed a lower court decision and found that state statute 167.131does not violate the Hancock Amendment. The statute provides that an unaccredited school district must pay tuition for students to attend school in another accredited district in the same or an adjoining county.