House education committee amends Senate school transfer billl

By Christina Turner

JEFFERSON CITY — Students who have already transferred to accredited school districts would be allowed to stay in their receiving district under a Missouri House education commitment amendment.

The House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education approved amendments to a Senate school transfer bill Wednesday morning. Rep. Vicki Englund, D-Green Park, and Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, proposed amendments that would allow current transfer students to graduate from their receiving district. Students could stay if they continued living within the boundaries of their sending district as it existed when they first transferred.

Barnes said without his amendment, current transfer students could be forced to return to their sending district if that district gains accreditation.

“They’ve made peer groups, and if their parents want them to stay, they’re probably doing well,” Barnes said. “We shouldn’t disrupt their lives and put them on a Yo-Yo.”

Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis City, expressed concern about whether the state is willing to pay for these students.

“We’re going to have to make some tough decisions to foot the bill for this kind of stability,” Butler said. “We have to be willing to pay for it and not put that burden on the local school districts which are already financially strapped. But the state is also financially strapped.”

The bill has been approved in the Senate. It was approved by the committee and will now move to the House for debate.