An appeals court ruled Tuesday that a Cole County judge erred in ordering charter schools to repay millions to the Kansas City School District.
At issue was money diverted from charter schools to help the Kansas City district pay off bonds that were issued to build and upgrade schools as required by a long-running federal desegregation case. Between $800 and $1,000 per student was withheld annually from Kansas City charter schools from 1999 to 2005, then later resumed in smaller amounts.
The withholdings began when the publicly funded schools opened in the city and began luring district students, and temporarily ended in 2005, when the Missouri Board of Fund Commissioners found the district didn’t need the money from the charter schools to pay off the bonds.
The district alleged that the state was reneging on a 1997 settlement in which the state paid $320 million to exit the district’s…
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