Few Students Transfer From Kansas City Public Schools – Thanks To Charter Schools
It is always risky when you make predictions; but aside from the time I bet against the Harlem Globetrotters, I’m doing pretty well. I previously predicted that 2013 would be a banner year for charter schools, and it was. In a December 2013 post titled, “How Choice Changes The Transfer Dynamic in Kansas City,” I predicted that the inter-district transfer law would have less of an effect in Kansas City than it has in the Normandy and Riverview Gardens School Districts in Saint Louis. I wrote:
The existing prevalence of school choice in Kansas City will most likely make the impact of student transfers minimal in comparison to the experiences at Normandy and Riverview Gardens. If school leaders in Kansas City and the surrounding areas handle the situation well, this expansion of school choice could actually benefit the districts and the students.
To date, only 23 children have applied to transfer from the unaccredited Kansas City Public School District to an accredited district. Does this mean that the students don’t want school choice? Not really.
In many ways, charter schools in Kansas City have acted as a release valve. They have provided families with another option and made the prospect of riding a bus or driving to neighboring districts less appealing.
If we think about it another way, the low transfer number demonstrates the positive impact of charter schools. The nearly 10,000 students in Kansas City charter schools would rather stay in those schools than transfer to the Independence, Raytown, Hickman Mills, or other surrounding school districts. It is amazing what can happen when individuals are free to choose, rather than being compelled to send their children to a school that isn’t meeting their needs.