UMSL experts sourced by media to discuss school transfer law

Buses (photo by Rachel A.K. via Flickr)

(photo by Rachel A.K. via Flickr)

The Missouri school transfer law for unaccredited school districts has been a hot topic this summer as two local school districts scrambled to find suitable replacement districts for their students.

Because of their lack of accreditation Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts were faced with choosing other area districts that their students could tranfers to in the 2013-14 academic year. Several media outlets turned to experts at the University of Missouri–St. Louis for insight into the policies, procedures and opinions of those affected by the legislation.

Kathleen Sullivan Brown, associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at UMSL, discussed the law Aug. 8 with The Associated Press. Brown said poor planning by school administrators and a lack of political leadership for the current crisis was to blame. She says it’s only a matter of time before more districts throughout the state encounter similar situations.

“We have other districts that are going to be in trouble next year,” Brown told the AP. “We should be preparing for Round 2.”

The story was carried by more than 280 news outlets.

Brown also spoke with The St. Louis Beacon, St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU and KPLR (Channel 11) on the topic.

J. Martin Rochester, Curators’ Teaching Professor of Political Science at UMSL, wrote a commentary about the law for the St. Louis Jewish Light.

Rochester, who wrote “Class Warfare: Besieged Schools, Bewildered Parents, Betrayed Kids and the Attack on Excellence,” disagrees with the law for many reasons, one of which is the unfairness to property owners in good school districts.

“It is amoral, as it also blithely ignores the concept of private property rights – many people (myself included) spent a small fortune and became house-poor years ago to buy into a high-quality district such as Clayton, only now to see free-riding parents gaining access to these schools without sacrificing a dime, with the prospect of declining property values to boot, ” Rochester wrote.

Rochester also spoke on the topic Aug. 9 on KMOX (1120 AM).


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