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Judge issues a split decision on the Kansas City student transfer case

Jackson County Judge Brent Powell ruled that the transfers would violate Missouri’s Hancock Amendment for North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Independence, but would not violate the unfunded mandate prohibition of the law for Raytown and the Blue Springs school districts.

The decision seems to be based on the projected payments to Raytown and Blue Spring’s being slightly more than the cost of providing services to the transferring students. The projected costs to the other three district were significantly larger then the projected payments.

There is still significant differences between Kansas City and the other school districts. Kansas City wants to make monthly payments and place many restrictions on who is eligible to transfer at their expense.

It is probably that this ruling will be appealed and that this aspect and broader issues in this matter will wind up before the Missouri Supreme Court.

Editorial

Given the Kansas City School District’s past performance in making payments to the Independence School District, Raytown School District needs to take strong legal steps to insure that the District gets paid.  The Kansas City students deserve a quality education and it is both the right thing and a good thing for Raytown to assist in making sure this happens, but not at the expense of our current students. Kansas City needs to step up and pay for the additional costs educate their residents and not place barriers in the way of students wanting to transfer.

This situation in far from being resolved and probably will drag on for months.

Michael N. Downing

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