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Guidelines Issued For Transfers To Accredited MO School Districts

The Missouri Department Of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued its own guidelines for the transfer process of students from unaccredited districts to those which are accredited.

Earlier this month, the Missouri Supreme Court declared the state's school transfer law constitutional, a reversal of a May 2012 ruling.

DESE Deputy Commissioner Ron Lankford says students and parents have until August 1 to notify both their current and desired school districts of their desire to transfer.

“We feel like that this guidance, and that’s all it is, it’s non-binding, it’s not regulatory," says Lankford, "but these are things that could be taken into consideration in dealing with those requests for students who might be seeking to come in."

A few ofthe guidelines, however, do contain regulations. For example, unaccredited school districts must provide transportation to at least one nearby accredited district, and transferring students will be eligible to compete in sports and participate in other school activities.

The guidelines also include developing an admissions process to insure that all applicants get a fair shot, in the event that a school doesn’t have enough space to accept everyone who wants to transfer.  

Currently, Missouri has three unaccredited school districts – the Kansas City school district and Normandy and Riverview Gardens in St. Louis County.

The guidelines don't apply to St. Louis Public Schools because the district gained provisional accreditationback in Oct. 2012.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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