Taxpayers in failing districts worry money will leave with students

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NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) - Hundreds of people filled Shalom Church City of Peace for a meeting about the controversial transfer program involving Normandy and Riverview Gardens School Districts.

As a result of a Missouri Supreme Court ruling, student from poor performing districts can transfer to another district.

At least 1,300 students have already applied to transfer.

Most of the people at the meeting urged parents to keep their children in the unaccredited school districts.

"I refuse to believe that we can't teach our children and help our children," Normandy Resident Diane Perry said.

Tax payer’s dollars will also leave the districts.

Normandy and Riverview Gardens will have to pay tuition for each student who transfers.

In some districts tuition is about $8,000 in others it is closer to $18,000.

"I don't think it will bankrupt us, but it will have a big impact," Normandy Superintendent Ty McNichols said. "But that is money leaving here and going elsewhere."

About 8,000 students are expected to remain in the Normandy and Riverview Gardens School Districts.

"We are planning ways to improve for them," McNichols said. "Some won't cost money."

"We have to look at the big picture," Shalom Church City of Peace Pastor Freddy Clark said. "I hope parents decide to stay in their community."

Another issue parents at the meeting were concerned about is the fact that some parents from other districts have said they did not want transfer students.

"It makes me worry about how my child will be received," Riverview Gardens Parent Michelle Wright said.

Aug. 1 is the deadline to apply for the transfer program.

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