The outcome of five years of fighting by St. Louis families who wanted their failing schools to pay to send their children to accredited suburban districts has been thrown into greater doubt after the city schools received partial accreditation last week.
Missouri law requires unaccredited districts to pay tuition and transportation costs to send students living within their boundaries to accredited districts in the same or an adjoining county. At least four lawsuits involving the law were filed, three of them in St. Louis.
One case is before the Missouri Supreme Court, but legal experts and school officials said they aren't sure what the court will do now that the school district has gained provisional accreditation, which is better than being unaccredited but still short of full accreditation. They said the court could well make a decision anyway, since the outcome would affect Kansas City and Riverview Gardens' unaccredited districts, as well as students in Normandy, which is losing its accreditation Jan. 1.