Missouri education officials are considering a plan that would eliminate the school transfer program by dissolving unaccredited districts like Normandy and Riverview Gardens. The CEE-Trust proposal presented Monday, would hand control of individual schools to non-profit groups accountable to a state-run office.
State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro told Fox 2 News that the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sought the proposal because the current transfer system isn't sustainable. "Ultimately, any district that ends up sending students to another, with the current tuition calculation, will end up going bankrupt," she said. Officials with the unaccredited Normandy School District have said that without a cash infusion from the state, they will run out of money this spring.
Under the CEE-Trust plan, decisions about curriculum, staffing and budgets would be made at each school. The state-run Office of Community Schools would handle systemic issues like busing and building maintenance.
Mark Jones of the Missouri NEA, a state teacher's union, expressed skepticism. Jones told Fox 2 News that the proposal sounds like a clever marketing scheme. "This just simply looks like a rebranding of charter schools that have demonstrated a lack of accountability and a lack of oversight," Jones said.
The proposal is one of several being considered by the state. The board will gather public input in St. Louis on February 4, then try to make a decision at its meeting, February 18.