State surprises Normandy schools by taking financial control

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Missouri Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to take financial control of the unaccredited Normandy School District, which is buckling under the financial weight of Missouri’s school transfer law.

The board also approved the creation of a transition team to figure out how to educate Normandy’s 3,000 students and 1,000 transfer students in the likely event the north St. Louis County school system goes bankrupt this spring or summer.

Normandy’s financial situation is “very, very fragile,” Deputy Education Commissioner Ron Lankford told the seven-member board, after reviewing the district’s books this month. The amount Normandy must spend on transfer tuition is 1.5 times more than it receives in per-student state aid. The potential of bankruptcy, Lankford said, “is not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.”

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