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ST. LOUIS COUNTY – Normandy's Viking spirit runs through Aaliyah Rash's veins. She's been coming to class in Normandy since she was pre-K.

"I plan on graduating from here," she said.

Her plan may not happen if the Normandy School District goes broke. The district is operating on its reserves.

Superintendent Ty McNichols says he needs lawmakers to approve the $5 million to help the district make it through the school year. He came up with a plan to keep his district viable and says it involves partnerships with businesses, neighbors and universities. He says the only way to solve the school problem is to solve a poverty problem surrounding the school district.

McNichols gave his plan to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, but he's also endorsing another plan called New Path to Excellence. It was formulated from a study conducted by a special task force.

The study said unaccredited school districts is a statewide problem. McNichols said the plan recognizes poverty as a common denominator for failing school districts. He says it would make sure failing districts like his aren't incorporated into other performing districts, and says combining districts could create even more unaccredited districts.

Rep. Rick Stream from Kirkwood said he believes lawmakers will pass a law to give Normandy the money to avoid bankruptcy. He's also going to introduce a bill on Wednesday to fix the current school law.

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