Mo. board recommends $6.8M for Normandy schools

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri education officials recommended an additional $6.8 million of state aid Tuesday for an unaccredited St. Louis-area school district that is in jeopardy of running out of money because some of its students have left for other schools.

The recommendation by the State Board of Education is the first step in a funding process that ultimately would need the approval of Gov. Jay Nixon and the state Legislature to become reality.

Students started transferring out of the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts last month under a 1993 state law that requires unaccredited districts to pay the costs of students who chose to attend other nearby public schools.

Riverview Gardens lost its accreditation in 2007, and Normandy became unaccredited in January. But the student transfer requirements did not kick in until being upheld in June by the state Supreme Court.

Figures reported to the state at the start of the school year in August showed 1,189 students transferred out of the Normandy district and 1,451 students departed the Riverview Gardens district. That still left thousands of students in each district, but the transfer costs have put a particular strain on Normandy.

The State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said Normandy is projected to run out of money in March.

If Nixon agrees with the $6.8 million funding request, it would be presented as a supplementary budget item to the Legislature when it reconvenes in January.

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