Normandy students fight for future in Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KSDK) – More than 100 students flooded the halls of the Missouri State Capitol rather than Normandy High School Wednesday.

Part of it was a hands-on civics lesson – but more importantly, it was a chance to give legislators a message about their education.

"I love my school, and I wouldn't want to go to any other school," senior Tonie McCormick said.

McCormick stayed in the unaccredited district – even though she had the option to transfer.

"I want to see Normandy be open next year," she said, "I want to see Normandy succeed…I want us to get our accreditation back."

McCormick, and 120 other peers, parents and alumni, walked the halls of the capitol hoping to show that they still have hope, even though the district is going broke by funding the transfer program.

"I'm glad that we're all coming together so we can fight and keep this district alive, because this district needs this community, and the community needs the district," junior Kenny Branch said. "If this district falls, the community falls."

They met with legislators who spoke very openly about the uphill battle to save the district.

"I've been telling my constituents from the very beginning, you have a choice," Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal (D-University City) said. "You can either have 70 percent to save the district or you can have zero. It's your choice. If you want me to fight for zero, I'll ask for 100 percent and get zero."

"The quickest way to get out of this hole is to become an accredited district, and we don't have to worry about transfers anymore," Rep. Clem Smith (D-St. Louis) said.

A senate committee voted Tuesday to authorize $1.5 million in emergency funds to keep the district open through the school year. The district had requested $5 million. The superintendent said he hopes the number will be somewhere in the middle.


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