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Government, Politics & Issues

Politically Speaking: Chappelle-Nadal Details Student Transfer Bill's Impact

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, St. Louis Public Radio's education reporter Dale Singer joins Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies as we welcome back state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, to the show. 

The Politically Speaking podcast is diverging from our usual alternating schedule of Republican and Democratic guests. Instead, we are focusing on opposing views on one of the region's hottest issues: the transfer of students from the Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts -- both unaccredited -- to neighboring districts.

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Gov. Jay Nixon announced last week that he's vetoing the bill that Chappelle-Nadal had co-sponsored, largely because of its provision calling for a "private option'' to allow public money to go private nonsectarian schools.  She also served on the conference committee that hammered out the final version of the bill.

The bill's opponents include state Rep. Clem Smith, D-Velda Village Hills, who sharply criticized the legislation on last week's Politically Speaking podcast.

Chappelle-Nadal requested to be on the show to provide another perspective.

Among other things, the senator said:

  • Her primary aim is to preserve the Normandy district, which Chappelle-Nadal contends is in danger of collapsing if the current transfer law remains in effect. That law burdens the district with the tuition and transportation costs of the student transfers.
  • She wants to end the growing costs to the districts caused by families moving into Normandy and Riverview Gardens specifically to transfer their children to other districts at no cost to the families.
  • She defended the private option, saying that it was the key compromise that produced enough votes to get the bill through the GOP-controlled General Assembly.
  • She remains sharply critical of Gov. Jay Nixon, who Chappelle-Nadal contends has no plan for an alternative to her bill.

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Dale Singer on Twitter: @dalesinger

Follow Maria Chappelle-Nadal on Twitter: @mariachappellen

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