It’s Like Deja School, All Over Again

9 03 2012

P-D:

Student transfer law is “completely unworkable,” school districts tell judge.

Attorneys for the Clayton and St. Louis school districts told a St. Louis County Circuit judge this afternoon that complying with Missouri’s school transfer law would put a burden on taxpayers that would contradict state law.

Attorneys for a St. Louis parent and state argued just the opposite.

During opening arguments in the Turner vs. School District of Clayton, Judge [*****] listened to predictions that thousands of St. Louis children might transfer to Clayton schools if they were allowed to, thereby putting a strain on the Clayton district that no one but its taxpayers could cover.

The estimated 3,600-student influx to Clayton would require $137 million in new buildings and land, and an extra $42 million in operating funds, said Mark Bremer, attorney for Clayton schools.

The amount exceeds the district’s bonding capacity, he said. The transfer program “is completely unworkable,” Bremer added.

(snip)

According to Clayton officials, sending the Breitenfeld’s tuition bill to St. Louis Public Schools would cost the system $40,057 a year. It would cost St. Louis school system $263.8 million to $283.8 million if an estimated 15,000 students were to transfer out of the district to a St. Louis County school.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I can think of two things:

1.  The county districts (and believe me, it’s not just Clayton) are whining that city transfers would tax their resources.  Yet, most of these same county districts actively courted interdistrict deseg students in the 1980s.  What’s so different now?

2.  What kind of Enron voodoo accounting is Clayton using to figure on a $40k tuition bill for one student?  There’s something about that that reminds me of the Married With Children episode where Al Bundy’s Dodge breaks down, and he wants to buy a new convertible.  The Salesman, not wanting Al’s business, and gives him a highball price on the car, and says “No” to every option.  Later, Al goes back to the showroom to look at the car, and the same Salesman is giving another customer a far better price and with all the options Al wanted.  The Clayton district and their 40k/year “tuition” is telling the black “Al Bundys” of St. Louis City to scramb.

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2 responses

10 03 2012
rjp

Yet, most of these same county districts actively courted interdistrict deseg students in the 1980s. What’s so different now?

In West Virginia this was never legal, but in odd cases, parents could pay tuition for their students to attend an out of county (counties being the districts in West Virginia).

But if we go back, almost every place seemed to building massive new “consolidated” schools in the late 70s without taking into account the reduction in family size that was occurring, and liberal legislation that would further reduce the available population stream with abortion and birth control availability. With falling attendance finally being recognized, shortfalls in funding had to be addressed by increasing attendance.

What kind of Enron voodoo accounting is Clayton using to figure on a $40k tuition bill for one student?

Probably one that actually takes into account the cost of the law enforcement officers that will have to be hired, as well as the cost of other accoutrements that will be required (metal detector gates, damaged/stolen equipment replacement, hiring of remedial teachers and “adult daycare” workers, bus drivers, buses, gasoline for longer bus routes, etc).

This may be the first honest assessment of cost ever generated, though I am sure it is leaning to the high side (as I think any estimate of cost (or losses) should).

10 03 2012
countenance

The Clayton district (for the record, Clayton is sort of a new money older housing stock inner ring suburb, a lot of physician specialists live there, and it’s also the county seat of St. Louis County, so a lot of law firms are plopped there), was really keen on deseg. So they’ve have the “infrastructure” to deal with city blacks for a long time.




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