Kate Casas, State Director, Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri
Since 2007, when Saint Louis Public Schools lost its accreditation, all discussion about the revised statute 161.137 of the Outstanding Schools Act of 1993 has focused on the Saint Louis region. As you might know, this statute states that children who live in an unaccredited school district have the right to transfer to an accredited district in the same or adjoining county and the tuition must be paid by the unaccredited district at no expense to the family.
To date, only two school districts, Saint Louis Public Schools and Riverview Gardens, both of which are in the St. Louis Metro Region, have lost their accreditation. However, on August 19, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the priminary Annual Performance Report (the measure the determines accreditation) results for all Missouri’s 522 school districts. While districts will have the opportunity to appeal these results, you can see from this map of districts currently in jeopardy of becoming unaccredited or provisionally accredited, the problem reaches far beyond the St. Louis Metro Region.
The map is important because it highlights the fact that there are children in all corners of Missouri who are recieving a substandard education. There is a law on the books in Missouri to ensure the children living in these districts are not trapped in failing schools, it just needs to be enforced.