Normandy Superintendent Calls For Passage Of Senate Bill 493
“Now SB493 needs to become law this session so our district can retain the talented staff that is so hard to recruit to an urban district.” Those were the words of Normandy Superintendent Tyrone McNicols in a commentary on St. Louis Public Radio this weekend.
As readers of the Show-Me Daily blog know, Senate Bill 493 would fix many of the problems with the transfer law and would create a local private option for students. This local private option would allow students in unaccredited schools to attend a nearby nonsectarian private school.
It is this local private option that has the alphabet soup of education groups (MASA, MSBA, MNEA, etc.) railing against SB 493. As I have said before, the education establishment has taken an all-or-nothing approach on this issue. They are not interested in compromise. They are solely interested in stopping school choice.
Missouri Sen. John Lamping (R-Dist. 24) put it this way during a recent Show-Me Institute panel discussion about the topic [emphasis mine]:
The establishment is quite comfortable with nothing happening. They can’t say it publicly, but they’re very comfortable with nothing happening. Normandy will be bankrupt by July, they will lapse the district, they’ll merge with the surrounding districts. Riverview Gardens will go bankrupt next year; they’ll do the same thing. And, two or three years from now, a neighboring district will probably go through the same process of unaccreditation and becoming bankrupt. The establishment is fine with that. They will not give any reform in exchange for fixing the system.
If this bill does not pass, it is the establishment that will have killed it and in effect, sealed the fate of the Normandy School District.
Superintendent Ty McNichols doesn’t want to see that happen. He recognizes that “no bill is ever perfect, and there are issues in the bill that are controversial,” but he also recognizes when it is time for compromise. This is just such a time.