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Sen. Paul LeVota Files Resolution Addressing...
Sen. Paul LeVota Files Resolution Addressing Student Transfer Law
January 21, 2014
JEFFERSON CITY—State Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, today filed a resolution in the Missouri Senate urging the State Board of Education to grant the Kansas City school district provisional accreditation and move quickly to intervene in struggling districts, among other calls for action.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 24 also encourages the Department of Education and Secondary Education (DESE) to create an accreditation and intervention model for struggling schools, submit budget requests for the cost of tuition and transportation for students who transferred out of Riverview Gardens and Normandy schools in the St. Louis area this year, and make the commissioner of education, or another DESE staff member, responsible for aiding unaccredited districts.
“The school transfer law should be our No.1 priority this year,” said Sen. LeVota. “If lawmakers are truly serious about improving education in our state, this is where we need to start. Taxpayers need decisive action on a problem affecting thousands of families in our state. We have to get this done.”
The resolution is in response to the school transfer law, which was upheld last year by the Missouri Supreme Court. The state law allows a student in an unaccredited district to transfer to an adjacent accredited district, with tuition and transportation costs covered by the unaccredited school.
Last September, thousands of St. Louis students left unaccredited districts for neighboring schools. The exodus posed numerous problems for the region. Receiving schools weren’t equipped to handle the sudden influx of students, and unaccredited schools were forced to pay out millions for the transfers, bankrupting their budgets.
With Kansas City home to an unaccredited school district, many have called for the Legislature to find a solution to the issue before it affects both of Missouri’s major metropolitan areas and other regions of the state.
“This isn’t a St. Louis or Kansas City issue—it’s a statewide problem. If there are students in Missouri not receiving the education they deserve because of poor public policy, then we’re not doing our jobs. It’s that simple,” said Sen. LeVota. “I understand these are complicated problems without easy solutions, but when it comes to our children’s futures, we can’t shy away from any challenge, regardless of its difficulty.”
For more information on Sen. LeVota’s sponsored legislation, visit his Missouri Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/levota.