Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gov. Nixon Signs Measure on Charter Schools but Vetoes Bill on Transfers; He Signs Charter School Bill but Vetoes Measure on Transfers; EDUCATION

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gov. Nixon Signs Measure on Charter Schools but Vetoes Bill on Transfers; He Signs Charter School Bill but Vetoes Measure on Transfers; EDUCATION

Article excerpt

JEFFERSON CITY - School choice advocates won one and lost one Wednesday as Gov. Jay Nixon signed a charter school bill but vetoed a measure that would have eased some school transfers.

Nixon scheduled an evening signing ceremony at Girls State in Warrensburg to approve the charter school bill. It would allow charter schools to expand statewide while setting standards that hold them accountable for results.

But he rejected a bill that would have let some students attend public schools that are closer to their homes but outside their districts. That legislation would have affected only the St. Albans, St. Elizabeth and Gravois Mills areas.

Nixon said the transfer bill would have imposed an unfunded mandate on school districts that would have had to pay tuition for departing students. The burden would be "particularly problematic when the cost of tuition exceeds the per-pupil state aid received by the resident school district," according to the governor's veto message.

The state already has a procedure that allows families to seek assignment to a different school district when a student faces a transportation "hardship," Nixon noted.

Several families in the affected communities had sought the bill, which would have authorized transfers if children lived at least 17 miles from their district's school and another district's school was at least seven miles closer.

Cory Kraft, a parent at St. Albans, said he was disappointed by the veto. Noting that opposition came mainly from school administrators, Kraft said that Nixon "has more interest in making his superintendents happy and less interest in taking care of kids."

Kraft, who lives in the Washington School District, has two daughters whose tuition in Rockwood schools has been provided by the Washington district under a state-approved transportation hardship. …

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