Interdistrict Choice for Students in Failing Schools: Burden or Boon?
In June of 2013, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a state law that allowed students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to nearby accredited districts. The student’s home district would be responsible for making tuition payments and providing transportation. Using data, firsthand accounts, and structured interviews with school district superintendents, this paper examines what happened in response to the transfer program. Specifically, it examines how the districts responded. In all, more than 2,000 students transferred from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts, roughly a quarter of the total student population. These students transferred to two dozen area school districts. Except in isolated cases, evidence suggests that these students were largely absorbed into receiving school districts without causing much disruption. For the unaccredited school districts, however, the transfer program had a profound impact on school finances.
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