It’s Like Deja School, All Over Again

9 03 2012


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.


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.