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Parkway District Says Court OK To Nix Student Transfers

The ruling came down Tuesday.

A judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of the School District of Clayton in a widely watched case that deals with the transfer of students from unaccredited schools to accredited ones, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Quoting from the Post-Dispatch article:

"Under the ruling, students from unaccredited school districts would not have the right to transfer to better school districts for free."

While Chesterfield's Parkway School District did not expect to be impacted much by students transferring to Parkway from poor-performing schools, a spokesman had this to say about the ruling:

"We are pleased with the court's decision. Missouri needs to continue looking for ways to help unaccredited schools improve, but clearly this was not the answer," Parkway Communications Director Paul Tandy said Tuesday.

The ruling came down in St. Louis County Circuit Court, 9th Division.

Chief Communications Officer Chris Tennill of the  appeared to agree:

"This is a statute that, in its current form, doesn't work the way it's intended to," Tennill said. Tennill described how the ruling by Judge David Lee Vincent III aligns with the district's position on student transfers.

The issue turned on whether to allow students in poorly-performing school districts to transfer to better schools in districts that bordered their own.

With the loss of state accredidation by the City of St. Louis schools, county school districts bordering the city district feared being overwhelmed with potential costs and a lack of facilities to educate large numbers of new students in a single school year.

In this way, Parkway did not anticipate a seachange of enrollment, because it does not border and unaccredited school district.

However, Clayton's Tennill said it's unclear whether plaintiffs (Turner) will appeal in the Turner vs. Clayton case, so the district will take a wait-and-see approach for the immediate future. If it is appealed, he said, the district is prepared to continue facing the issue of transfers with the "same dedication and intensity" as it has for the last five years.

Elkin Kistner, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he has 40 days from Tuesday to file an appeal. He isn't sure when the filing will occur.

"That's the reason appeals exist," Kistner said.

As for the ruling, he said: "It's not good news."

Chesterfield Editor Jean Whitney contributed to this article.

Read more about the Turner v. Clayton decision and read reaction from an attorney for the plaintiffs in the complete Post-Dispatch report.

More about Turner v. Clayton on Patch:

parkwaydad May 02, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Transfer to Parkway? Rockwood, Lindbergh, Clayton, Ladue (as well as others close to Parkway) are on the upswing and surpassing Parkway in many ways. Despite great kids, great teachers and staff, and engaged parents, the Parkway Board (run by Director Feldman) has been running a once great district into mediocrity. Look at MAP scores. More and more parents are looking to get their kids out of Parkway because they hate seeing their money used for non-academic waste and lied to about it. We also are appalled by the Board's racially segregated PTO's( this Board's tribute to Jim Crow).

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