Normandy schools update: alive but fragile

ST. LOUIS COUNTY - Tuesday was the day the Normandy School District was predicted to run out of money. The superintendent says they're still hanging on, but the district's finances are very fragile.

"It was never our anticipation that we were going to be broke on April 1, but that we would be close to running out of money," said Dr. Ty McNichols. "We believe that April is still the time period that things could start to impact us if the legislators don't act."

The district has paid millions of dollars for students who transferred to other districts, mainly Francis Howell, after last summer's historic Supreme Court decision allowing students in unaccredited to transfer to neighboring accredited districts.

Normandy leaders asked legislators for $5 million in emergency money to get them through this year and make sure they can open next year. The House approved the request, but the Senate came back with $1.5 million.

NewsChannel 5 is told the uncertainty of the district's finances is taking its toll on teachers and students alike.

"When we talk about that April 1 date, I even had children saying to me 'I'm so glad we didn't close April 1. Are we going to be here next year?' And I'm like yes we're going to be here next year. This is our school. This is our district. We are here," said Lucas Crossing Elementary School principal Sonja Harvey.

McNichols says they are planning to offer teachers contracts for next year, but they can't be guaranteed at this point.

"We have people who have been in the district for 15 years or more and they're talking about leaving. They really don't want to leave. They want to stay here because they know the children," said Normandy's NEA President Judy Davis-Edwards.

Legislators are expected to act on emergency money and a proposed tuition cap this month.


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