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MO House passes bill to facilitate between-district enrollment

The passage of Ted Hoskins’ bill requiring accredited school districts to explain why they have denied access to a child seeking to transfer from an unaccredited district is an important first step toward ensuring the educational rights of Missouri’s public school children.

Several school districts across the state are unaccredited, and by law students from those districts are allowed to seek a better education in a neighboring accredited district.  Those accredited schools, however, are not required to accept transfer students.  This bill begins to close that loophole by helping parents and the community determine if the denial of transfer students is reasonable or purely political.

The Grade reports the story:

Ted Hoskins

Ted Hoskins

FROM: http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/the-grade/public-schools/2009/04/mo-house-passes-bill-to-facilitate-between-district-enrollment/

JEFFERSON CITY — The House of Representatives passed a bill today that would require accredited school districts who reject a student from an unaccredited district give the parents a reason.

Bill sponsor Rep. Ted Hoskins, D-Berkeley, said this would help prevent school districts — except in Kansas City — from cutting a deal to keep students (and their tax money) in unaccredited districts.

“I think these kids are hungry for receiving a good education,” he said.

Hoskins was critical of schools for, in his opinion, not putting students first.

“I think you think that a lot of school districts are in the business of educating kids, that’s not necessarily true,” he said to Rep. Ann Zerr, R-St. Charles.

He found some support on her side of the aisle. “Really, aren’t you kind of keeping them honest?” Zerr said.

And Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka, said the bill was a “common-sense solution.”

But not everyone agreed. Rep. Margo McNeil, D-Florissant, said the real issue is funding, and others agreed that this isn’t the best solution.

“Are we continuously going to divert students out of these school districts?” asked Rep. Brian Yates, R-Lee’s Summit, and added, “Why don’t we focus on making these school districts better?

The Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis opposes the bill.