“Normandy Strong” was the cry Saturday at a rally for supporters of the Normandy School District, whose future is uncertain after losing accreditation and bearing the tuition costs of students transferred to other districts.
Officials estimate the district will be bankrupt in April if millions of dollars in supplemental funding isn’t approved by the legislature. Supporters are hopeful that the district, currently unaccredited, can survive this school year and beyond.
In Missouri, as in most states, public schools are administered by local school boards. The boundaries of school districts are drawn in accordance with state law. Schools are funded primarily through local property taxes. Districts with higher per capita incomes tend to have better schools. The districts most in danger of losing their accreditation tend to be those with lower per capita incomes.
The vote came a week before a new state law takes effect that will allow Missouri to move more quickly towards taking over unaccredited school districts. Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says state officials will soon begin to heighten their presence in those districts.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch recently published an article by Mr. Krehmeyer reporting on the link between poverty and lack of school success. It indicated that with various actions we can do a lot to improve school results in poverty areas. I think that thought has merit. I commend what the author, Chris Krehmeyer, has to say. However in my mind the real issue is “do we really want to erase poverty and do we have the will to truly turn around failing school systems and help children out of poverty?” I ask because I have heard the words so many times.
In the last several weeks the St. Louis Public Schools and the Normandy School District traded places on the list of unaccredited and provisionally accredited schools. . Congratulations to the city schools for regaining provisional status and good luck to Normandy on its journey back to accreditation. Here in the St. Louis region we typically only talk about our public school challenges or occasionally the Kansas City challenges but the list of unaccredited and provisional schools in Missouri, in addition to St.
The Missouri Supreme Court is deciding whether the Webster Groves school district must enroll a student from the city of St. Louis.
The court heard arguments Wednesday on a case related to Missouri law that allows students from unaccredited districts to transfer to accredited districts. State lawmakers are also considering how to implement or revise the law. Three school systems in St. Louis and Kansas City are unaccredited.