JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI)-The existing Normandy School District will go out of business at the end of June. But the Missouri Board of Education voted Tuesday to replace it July first with a new version of the district within the old boundaries and a new governing board.
Missouri education leaders hope the changes will give the unaccredited and struggling district a fresh start. State Board members voted unanimously to re-create the school district under state oversight. All contracts with employees will be terminated although State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said, ' It is likely many staff will be rehired for the fall term.'
Normandy was facing bankruptcy at the end of June because it had to spend millions of unbudgeted dollars to cover tuition bills for some 1000 students at accredited districts in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. Missouri law permits students to transfer from an unaccredited district to an accredited one and it requires the home district to pick up the cost.
Normandy Supt. Ty McNichols, who does not know his own future, said he believed the new plan would technically stop more students from transferring out of Normandy, but he was not sure how the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would rule.
Nicastro said many questions about the new district and the future of current transfer students remained to be answered.
She said the first year will be a transition year, but she hoped the Normandy parents will find hope in the state`s actions. 'We are on their side, we are standing with them in an effort to provide quality school choices in the Normandy school district for families of children.'
Nicastro and the State Board of Education will decide who runs the new Normandy District in the coming weeks.
More than 100 Normandy District supporters attended the State Board of Education meeting in Columbia Tuesday. Many held signs saying, ' We Are Normandy Strong.'
A State Board appointed task force presented its findings before the vote. It called for a newly defined district with a new local school board that included one to two members of the currently elected board. But the Missouri Education Department`s final recommendation to the state board did not duplicate the task force report. Instead it took pieces of plans presented over a several month long hearing process.
State Board President Peter Herschend said the board shared part of the blame for the district`s loss of accreditation. He compared Normandy to an educational house that is on fire and needs to be rescued.
Some Normandy supporters and the currently elected school board members have argued they should be allowed to move forward with their new plan to reinvigorate instruction.
The next meeting of the State Board of Education will be in mid-June.
Resolution approved by MO State Board of Education:
DESE News Release:
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