Special session possible over transfer bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri Lawmakers have passed a student transfer bill.

There are three main parts to the measure. The first caps tuition and allows receiving districts to charge less in exchange for not counting transfers test scores.

The second and most controversial component of the law would allow transfer students more school choices, including some non-religious private schools within the unaccredited districts. But there's opposition to that because it means tax dollars going to private schools.

The final part is bussing. Who pays for it?

The lawmakers could go back to the drawing board in a special session if the governor doesn't sign this bill. NewsChannel 5 didn't get a straight answer when we asked Gov. Nixon Thursday, but the lawmakers who passed this bill don't think he will because he doesn't think public money should be used for private schools.

There are lawmakers who want the governor to call a special session, and two of them are from St. Louis. They say the school transfer bill hurts African-American children in poor districts. It doesn't help them.

"We're taking public money and sending them to private schools which is the definition of a voucher program this is one issue they refuse take off the table," said Rep. Genise Monticello.

"The Normandy School District looks like me, the Riverview Gardens looks like me, and these who the rules apply to not everybody just people who look like me and that I can't understand," said Rep. Clem Smith.

Only 23 votes separated the lawmakers who voted for this bill and the ones who didn't. They may all know by Friday if the governor will make them come back for a special session.


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