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Everything listed under: #MOTransfers

  • These Tips Will Make Public School Enrollment a Piece of Cake

     

    Summer is a time of transition for many families, and it can be a time of anticipation for students and parents who will start a new school in the fall. Luckily, Missouri Parent has done the legwork. These tips will make public school enrollment a piece of cake for your family!

    Tip #1: Find Your Child’s School
    If you’re new to Missouri public schools, or if you’re trying to find your child’s school in a new community following a family move, the Missouri School Directory online is a huge help! It allows you to search for schools by district, county, or legislative district.

    Learn More: Finding Your Child’s School

    Tip #2: Gather the Right Documentation
    It’ll save you time and stress if you show up to your child’s school enrollment appointment with the correct documentation on-hand.

    This post explains the identification, medical, academic, and behavioral records you should bring when you enroll your child in school. Be prepared, though, that your child’s school may also ask you to complete additional documentation like technology assessments or language questionnaires.

    Tip #3: Ensure Your Child’s Immunizations are Up to Date
    Missouri public schools have published a recommended immunization schedule based on the suggestions of leading disease, pediatric, and family organizations across the country. Learn more about the vaccines that public schools students are required to receive in this post.

    Tip #4: Meet the Teacher & Attend the Open House
    Most Missouri schools offer the chance for parents and students to meet the teacher and the principal before school starts. If you’re new to the district, this is a great way to begin building relationships with the adults your child will interact with daily at school. Open houses are also a great way to get your child comfortable with his or her new school building, classroom, and teachers.

    Learn More: Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences

    Tip #5: Don’t Let In-State Transfers Intimidate You!
    We know that a mid-year school transfer can be stressful for you and your family, so we wrote this post explaining the basic in-state transfer process for you. Luckily, Missouri has streamlined in-state transfers to make them easier for families like yours.

    Summer is a time of transition for many families, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a time when parents and kids feel overwhelmed by the stress of school enrollment or transfer. We hope that these five tips help make your child’s school enrollment a piece of cake this fall!

    Missouri Parent is a free service for all Missouri parents and others with an interest in public education. Part of goal at Missouri Parent is to provide information that will help you help your child succeed in Missouri public schools. Bookmark Missouri Parent News and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates related to your child’s Missouri public school education!


  • Missouri Legislature 2015 Wrap-Up Post

     

    The First Regular Session of the 98th Missouri General Assembly ended on May 15th. During the 4.5-month-long session, a number of bills affecting Missouri public schools were the subjects of debate. From budgets to bullying to school transfer law, here’s a summary of the biggest education-related bills of the session.

    State Budget Approval & the Foundation Formula
    Congress passed the state’s Fiscal Year 2016 operating budget. The budget, which will go into effect July 1st, includes an $84 million increase in funding for the Foundation Formula. Despite the increase, the Formula remains under-funded by more than $440 million.

    Learn more: Understanding the Missouri Foundation Formula

    Supplemental Budget Approval
    The state’s supplemental budget bill, which helps cover unexpected expenses in the current year, was passed during the legislative session. The bill allocated $3.78 million to K-12 schools and $3.4 million to early childhood special education programs.

    A+ Funding for Illegal Immigrants
    Legislators passed a bill that will exclude illegal immigrants from qualifying for Missouri A+ Program scholarship funding. The bill was designed to ensure that residents have state scholarship funding priority. Opponents of the bill are concerned that students brought to the United States as children are being punished unfairly and prevented from achieving higher education goals. (Source)

    Learn more: Missouri’s A+ Program Benefits Thousands Each Year

    Higher Education Funding
    HB3 increases funding for Missouri’s public higher education institutions by $12 million. The bill was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

    School Transfers
    Legislature passed a school transfer bill (HB42) that opponents hope will be vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon. The bill, which would expand charter and virtual schools in the state, would also affect accreditation and school transfer.

    Under the bill, individual schools — not entire school districts — would earn accreditation. Students would be able to transfer from a failing school to an accredited school in their home districts. If an accredited school doesn’t exist in the student’s district, the student could still transfer outside the district.

    Failing schools would still be required to pay tuition and transportation costs for transfer students. The bill placed no limits on the cost of tuition charged by receiving districts. (Source)

    Learn more: School Transfer: An Expensive Law for Struggling Schools

    Day Care Bill
    SB341, which was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, requires day care centers to establish safe sleep policies and to disclose registration of unvaccinated children. The bill also establishes reporting procedures for juveniles with sexual behavior issues. (Source)

    Bullying
    A prominent anti-bullying bill didn’t survive the session. HB458 would have made school anti-bullying policy requirements stricter. The bill defined bullying and cyber bullying, and called for schools to play a more active role in suicide prevention. Many schools already have already enacted written anti-bullying policies on their own, but the bill would have legally required them to do so. (Source)

    Learn more: Bullying in Schools: How Adults Can Help

    A New President for the State Board of Education
    Unrelated to lawmaking, but coinciding with the legislative session, the State Board of Education elected a new president, Charlie Shields of St. Joseph, to replace former president Peter Herschend. Shields is the Chief Operating Officer at Truman Medical Centers, and served 20 years in the Missouri General Assembly. (Source)

    Missouri Parent is a free service for all Missouri parents and others who have an interest in public education. We aim to provide accurate and timely information on education funding and legislative issues that impact public education.

    To continue to learn about policies affecting your child’s Missouri public school education, bookmark Missouri Parent News and connect with Missouri Parent on Facebook and Twitter.


  • School Transfer: An Expensive Law for Struggling Schools

     

    Missouri’s School Transfer Law allows students who live in an unaccredited Missouri school district to attend school in an accredited district. When students transfer under the law, their home district (the failing district) is required to pay for their transportation to and tuition for the accredited school they’ll attend. This is an expensive an unsustainable solution for struggling schools.

    An Expensive Solution
    School transfers are expensive for the unaccredited district. In 2013, when both the Normandy and Riverview Gardens in St. Louis County were deemed unaccredited, more than 2,000 students transferred.

    While state lawmakers have proposed changes to the School Transfer Law, the law — in its current form — is an unsustainable one for unaccredited districts. Tuition alone cost between $7,000 and $21,000 per student for Normandy and Riverview Gardens. That means that the two districts spent more than $14 million just on tuition — an expense that threatened to send Normandy into bankruptcy. (Source)

    Learn More: Riverview Gardens Struggling as Result of School Transfers

    An Unsustainable Solution
    While the school transfer law helps the individual students who transfer out of struggling schools into successful ones, the transfer law doesn’t solve the larger problems facing failing schools. In fact, it just drains money away from schools that are already having a hard time maintaining infrastructure, providing students with quality resources, and hiring and retaining good teachers.

    This 2014 news story on STLToday.com opened by saying that Normandy School District was “buckling under the financial weight of Missouri’s school transfer law.”

    More recently, Normandy estimated that if more than 530 students transfer to accredited districts, “the cost of their tuition and in some cases their transportation could cause Normandy to go broke.” (Source)

    Selling Assets to Stay Afloat
    The sale of unused school district property is one of Normandy’s only saving graces. Beyond Housing, a nonprofit organization purchased seven empty schools and an early childhood center from Normandy last year, giving it a brief influx of funds.

    Profits from those sales have helped Normandy to remain operational, but how much longer can the district survive on this trajectory? How can lawmakers stand by while thousands of St. Louis public school students risk losing their local public school district entirely?

    Selling off assets and paying to send students to accredited schools isn’t a sustainable solution for Normandy, and it won’t be a strong solution for other Missouri schools that face lost accreditation in future years, either.

    Students Deserve a Quality Education at Home
    Missouri’s public school students deserve a high quality education in their own local public schools. The school transfer law helps some of the students in each unaccredited district, but for every student the law helps right now, it harms dozen more in the long run.

    As STLToday.com said, “the situation gives opportunity to about 430 Normandy children now in higher performing schools, but at the expense of the 3,500 who stayed.”

    That’s the risk of the school transfer law: its unreasonably expensive for local districts, and as a result, it’s not a sustainable way for our legislature to address lost accreditation. Struggling schools need to be made stronger by education policy. Instead, our state’s school transfer law is threatening to run them into the ground.

    Learn more about Missouri education policy and funding issues by bookmarking the Missouri Parent Blog. Get daily news updates from Missouri Parent News, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for timely information about state and local education policy.



  • #MissouriMath: The School Transfer Law

    Missouri’s School Transfer Law allows students who live in an unaccredited school district to attend school in an accredited district. When students transfer, their home district (the failing district) is required to pay for their transportation to and tuition for the accredited school they’ll attend.

    Learn More: Understanding Missouri’s School Transfer Law

    School transfers are expensive for the unaccredited district. In 2013, when both the Normandy and Riverview Gardens in St. Louis County were deemed unaccredited, more than 2,000 students transferred.

    While state lawmakers have proposed changes to the School Transfer Law, the law — in its current form — is an expensive one for unaccredited districts and profitable for receiving districts.

    Tuition alone cost between $7,000 and $21,000 per student for Normandy and Riverview Gardens in 2013. That means that the two districts spent more than $14 million just on tuition — an expense that threatened to send Normandy into bankruptcy. (Source)

    Learn More: Riverview Gardens Struggling as Result of School Transfers

    Representative Clem Smith (D – Velda Village Hills) told STLToday.com that, “getting a transfer kid is like hitting the lottery. Order a few more lunches, but whatever money (transfers) brings in, you absorb that into your budget.” (Source)

    The total number of transfer students in Normandy and Riverview Gardens fell to around 1,000 in 2014, but the costs to those districts still is still taking its toll. Normandy’s superintendent Charles Pearson, told STLToday.com that the district is operating “on a survival budget” when it should be focused on improving instruction. (Source)

    Missouri Parent agrees with Pearson that education money should be invested in education, not in transportation and tuition. When the cost of tuition and transportation for an individual student to attend a different school exceeds the state’s average per-pupil expenditure (PPE), it’s just not sustainable.

    Instead of spending taxpayer dollars paying for tuition and transportation, Missouri Parent believes that the state should invest that money directly in rebuilding Missouri’s unaccredited schools. The Missouri School Transfer law is an example of #MissouriMath that just doesn’t add up.

    Stay up to date on legislative and funding issues affecting your child’s K-12 public school education in Missouri by bookmarking Missouri Parent News. Get daily updates on policy, education, and more by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.



  • Understanding Missouri’s School Transfer Law

     

    Lawmakers in Jefferson City have proposed changes to a controversial and expensive law that enables students in unaccredited school districts to attend school in a fully accredited district, instead. To help you follow these conversations in the capital, today’s post on the Missouri Parent Blog explains what the School Transfer Law is, and what a few popular perspectives are surrounding it.

    The Missouri School Transfer Law says that students who live in an unaccredited school district can transfer to an accredited school district in the same county or in an adjacent county at no charge to their own families. The costs associated with the school transfer, including transportation and tuition, are the responsibility of the home school district (the unaccredited district).

    The School Transfer Law was created in 1993, and has been viewed as a blessing to some families and a frustration to others. Perspectives on the School Transfer Law run the gamut:

    Some families see the law as a reflection of their child’s right to a high quality public education — if their own school cannot provide it, then the child should be allowed to attend school in a district that can. It is not a child’s fault if his or her school district loses accreditation. Every child — even those in a struggling district — has an equal right to earn a quality public education in Missouri.

    Other families are concerned that the accredited school districts (called “receiving districts”) cannot handle the large influxes they see of students from outside districts. Logistically, the transfer law can pose a challenge for receiving districts, and parents who live in receiving districts have expressed concern about the educational standards in those districts being lowered to meet the academic abilities of transfer students from failing districts.

    Parents in accredited districts often feel that they chose their district (and pay property taxes in their district) so that their children can attend high quality public schools. It feels unfair to those families to have children from unaccredited districts in their child’s school without living in the community or paying local taxes to support the local education system.

    Another prominent perspective on the School Transfer Law is that it drains resources out of already-struggling school district, making it even more difficult for unaccredited districts to succeed. Rather than spend millions of dollars each year on transportation and tuition in another district, goes this line of thinking, that money should be invested directly into making the unaccredited school district stronger.

    Missouri Parent believes that the School Transfer Law is an expensive policy that compounds existing problems — especially budget issues — in struggling districts. Our belief is that the money invested in transportation and tuition should be infused back into local schools, giving them the resources they need to succeed.

    We want to hear from you, though: What do you think about the Missouri School Transfer Law? Have your children benefited from it? Has your home school district struggled as a result of the law? What do you think of the discussions happening in Jefferson City that could result in changes to the existing School Transfer Law?

    Our goals include sharing relevant and timely policy and funding information with Missouri parents, and helping you — parents of Missouri public school students — to support your child in his or her public school career. We hope you’ll leave a comment on the Blog or on our Facebook Page, and that you’ll connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.



  • Live Tweets from Missouri Senate #MoTransfers Hearing

     

  • Education a Prominent Theme During Missouri State of State Address

    Education was a prominent theme in Governor Nixon’s State of the State Address on January 21st. “Education is the great equalizer,” said the Governor in his speech. “Because when every child has a quality education, every child has the opportunity to succeed.”

    The Governor listed increased funding, heightened academic expectations, and stricter accountability measures as evidence of the state’s legislative progress for education. He made indirect reference to #MoNoOn3; the statewide effort to defeat Missouri Amendment 3, which would have used standardized test scores to evaluate public school teachers.

    Academically, he cited improved math and reading scores and progress in troubled school districts as ways that Missouri’s schools are “rising to the challenge”. He also highlighted several specific communities across the state that have made academic progress or have supported public educators.

    Governor Nixon was honest, however, that Missouri’s public education system isn’t where it needs to be. In order to give kids, “the best”, Governor Nixon proposed the following funding and legislative changes in 2015:

    · An $11 million increase to existing preschool budgets
    · A proposed record level of funding for K-12 education
    · An additional $150 million for public schools
    · A “clean fix” to the debate over Missouri’s school transfer law
    · Start-up grants to extend Project Lead the Way (a STEM education program) to 350 more Missouri elementary schools
    · An additional $25 million for Missouri higher education
    · Upgrading higher education facilities, especially those in STEM programs

    You can read the full text of Governor Nixon’s January 21st State of the State Address here.

    As the 98th General Assembly proceeds, education legislation and funding will be ongoing subjects of discussion and debate. Part of our mission at Missouri Parent is to provide you with accurate and timely information on education funding and legislative issues that impact public education, so we’ll continue to share relevant policy updates throughout this legislative session.

    Visit Missouri Parent News or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates about K-12 public school education, funding, and policy in the State of Missouri as we continue to post regular updates from the 98th General Assembly.


  • Highlights of #MOTransfers Debate in MO House

    The Missouri House of Representatives debated and passed SB 493 relating to transfers of students in unaccredited schools to accredited schools in Missouri on April 30th. The bill passed 91-64 and returns to the Senate. Below are tweeted highlights from reporters and witnesses to the debate.


  • Things Parents Should Know About In-State School Transfers in Missouri

    Transferring your child to a new school mid-year can be stressful for you and your son or daughter. Thankfully, Missouri has a streamlined transfer process that will make things a little bit easier for you and your child.

    Request Your Child’s Records

    A student may be denied enrollment if the student’s discipline record indicates that he/she is currently suspended or expelled from another school, including a private, parochial, charter or out-of-state school, and the enrolling school would have suspended or expelled the student for the same offense.
    –Safe Schools Act

    Your child’s current school is required by the state to forward his records on to his new school within five working days of your request.

    In addition to academic records, special needs, and disciplinary records will also move with your child to his new school. If your child has been expelled in his old school, his expulsion will likely apply at his new school as well.

    Immunizations

    Before you begin the transfer process, you should be sure that his vaccinations are up to date. If your child’s vaccinations are not current, he may not be allowed to enroll in his new school.

    If you’re concerned about the cost of immunizations, your child may qualify for the Missouri Vaccines for Children Program.

    A student may be denied enrollment if the student has not met the state’s immunization requirements for entering school.
    –Safe Schools Act


    Identification
    Your child will need to have proof of identification in order to enroll in his new school. A birth certificate or social security card may be enough, but it’s a good idea to call the new school before you begin the official transfer process to be sure you have the right documentation.

    Activities & Athletics
    The Missouri State High School Activities Association offers strict guidelines around student activity eligibility. If your child is involved in school teams or organizations, you should closely review the MSHSAA eligibility standards before you transfer schools. It’s also a good idea to meet with the athletic director at your child’s current school and at the school your child will transfer to so that you can ask questions and familiarize yourself with the nuances of MSHSAA’s transfer policies.

    Special Needs
    Parents of children with special needs should become familiar with the same general transfer steps above. In addition, your child’s current school will need to send your child’s IEP on to his new school, and your child’s new school may conduct interviews with you, your child, and your child’s current school staff to better support your child’s unique needs in the new learning environment. For details on in-state transfers for your child, MOParent recommends that you speak directly with your child’s old and new school.

    For more helpful tips on Missouri Public Schools, sign up for MOParent email updates!

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