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Five Districts Go to Court to Delay KCMO Student Transfers

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On the Friday before Christmas Eve, administrators of five local districts filed a petition asking the Jackson County courts to delay transfer of students from the Kansas City, Missouri schools, which are about to lose their accreditation.

The docket of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, shows the schools filed a petition, a motion for a temporary restraining order and a legal memo on Friday, Dec. 23. The court assigned Blue Springs R-IV School District et al. v. School District of Kansas City, Missouri case number 1116-CV34463 and assigned it to Judge Ann Mesle.

Last Wednesday, the Board of Education of the KCMO district approved a policy regarding student transfers to accredited districts.Two days later, five of those districts — Blue Springs, Independence, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown — filed a petition seeking to delay implementation of this policy until other legal and governance issues can be worked out.

New Year’s Day is the date the KCMO schools are scheduled to lose accreditation. According to Missouri statute, students from unaccredited districts have the right to transfer to those that are accredited. However, a lawsuit called Turner v. Clayton that might change this law is pending in state court, and a decision is not expected until at least March. There also has been talk that the state legislature, after it reconvenes next week, may pass legislation that would address the issue of transfers from unaccredited districts.

Administrators, parents, teachers, taxpayers and other interested parties in accredited districts are concerned that an influx of students into accredited schools will adversely affect their ability to educate all students, including those transferring from unaccredited schools.


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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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