The Missouri Supreme Court will now decide whether public school students can transfer to a neighboring district at no cost to their families. The state law debated in the courtroom allows students in unaccredited school districts to transfer to accredited districts. The failing district must pay for the student’s education and transportation, and the receiving district cannot turn them away.
Taxpayers from five suburban Kansas City school districts filed a lawsuit arguing that requiring them to accept transfers from Kansas City amounts to an unfunded mandate in violation of the Missouri Constitution. The attorney representing the five suburban districts said a survey of the Kansas City district found that if given the opportunity to transfer, nearly 8,000 Kansas City students would do so — roughly half the district. Each of the surrounding school districts would be forced to admit several hundred to a few thousand additional students coming from a low-performance district, meaning they would be more expensive to educate.