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The Webster-Kirkwood Times, in “School Officials Fear Possible Influx of Non-Resident Students” offers insight to the strategy St. Louis city and county officials are considering given their very serious concerns following last year’s Missouri Supreme Court case, Turner v. Clayton.
Their well-founded fear is that hundreds, if not thousands, of children from the 2 nearby unaccredited school districts, St. Louis Public Schools and Riverview Gardens, will apply to their schools, and they will have no choice but to accept them. So, among many solutions available, such as charter school expansion (including virtual charters and charters dedicated to special needs), open enrollment, virtual schooling, scholarship tax credits, to name a few options that could expand choice and parental options in the city and alleviate some of the demand that will assuredly flood the county if the courts uphold the decision, they want to go back and change the law so they are not legally obliged to accept any child outside their districts who applies. Badda-bing~simple solution, eh?!
What is most concerning is that 10 other St. Louis county districts are facing accreditation problems as well. Merely fortifying the borders of individual school districts will not improve St. Louis city and county’s development, nor does it improve our state. Missourians would be best served by ensuring that all children have access to high-quality, appropriate and safe learning opportunities so they can achieve their maximum potential, regardless of zip code, race, socio-economic status and even, and especially, those with disabilities of many varied kinds.
Increasing the quality, quantity and access to appropriate educational environments will raise the tide of Missouri’s children and their futures. Slamming the doors to access will surely sink the ship.