School choice: A problem in Missouri on black-to-white district transfers | Arkansas Blog

School choice: A problem in Missouri on black-to-white district transfers

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NORMANDY, MO. SCHOOLS: They propose a transfer plan for students seeking choice that has raised lots of comment.
  • NORMANDY, MO. SCHOOLS: They propose a transfer plan for students seeking choice that has raised lots of comment.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an interesting editorial page commentary on a school choice experiment in St. Louis.

The superintendent of a virtually all-black school district, to comply with court rulings, has proposed to transfer students from his unaccredited district to a suburban district that is 86 percent white. It has diversity, capacity to take transfers, better class sizes and more money, explained the superintendent.

Republican state Rep. Mark Parkinson has urged Gov. Jay Nixon to call a special legislative session to try to change the state law that allows the transfer of students from the black Normandy district to mostly white Francis Howell.


“It is an unacceptable breach of the public trust to force this decision onto the taxpayers of St. Charles County,” Mr. Parkinson said in a news release. “And it is a slap in the face of every family living in the Francis Howell School District to be forced, without consent, to accept students from outside the district.”

None dare say race plays any role in this objection. The U.S. Supreme Court has told us, remember, that the country is a post-racial place, much improved from, say, 1957. (Yes, the St. Louis editorial mentions Orval Faubus and Little Rock in supporting the transfer.)

Thinking out loud: What if the Little Rock School District would bus a few hundred black students from its poorest performing schools to Bryant? Or Cabot? It would be cheaper and more efficient than starting up new charter schools, essentially new independent and unproven school districts with duplicative administrative structures, wouldn't it? With a solution right at the county's borders, it seems like a natural.

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