Troubled St. Louis school finances at risk as students leave

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri education officials say the troubled Normandy school system in St. Louis County is nearing its financial tipping point with requests for student transfers.

Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven said Wednesday that 482 students are either applying to transfer or to continue as transfer students.

The state education department estimates the district can afford to pay for roughly 500 students to leave the district in the 2015-2016 school year.

State law requires failing districts to pay tuition for students to study elsewhere.

That’s created financial hardships for Normandy.

Vandeven’s statement came during a Senate hearing on legislation aimed at stopping the flow of money out of struggling districts.

A House bill would require students to first to transfer to better schools within their home district before going to other districts.