A Lower, Consistent Tuition For School Transfers Is Possible Without The Legislature
Many have lamented that the inter-district transfer law, which allows students to transfer from unaccredited public school districts to nearby accredited districts, may bankrupt failing districts. Normandy and Riverview Gardens, the two unaccredited districts currently allowing students to transfer, are already seeing financial hardship, and reports indicate that Normandy could be bankrupt by the end of the school year. This has occurred because the districts are paying tuition rates that are often in excess of what the districts spend on their own students. This has led some to clamor for a set tuition rate.
In a recent position paper by the Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, area school superintendents stated, “If transfers are made between school districts then a regional tuition rate should be determined.” The interesting thing is that nothing is stopping area school districts from charging a lower tuition rate now. Each district, with a vote of its school board, could decide to set a lower, consistent tuition rate. To date, none of them have. Instead, school leaders are asking for more state government action.
This is the very problem that plagues our society in so many regards; instead of taking initiative and fixing a problem ourselves, we allow or we seek greater government involvement.
The next time you hear a school leader complain about the transfer situation and how it may bankrupt unaccredited schools, ask him or her what his or her district is doing to help. Are these leaders taking action locally, or are they requesting a solution from Jefferson City?