KCMSD Students Unable to Transfer

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KANSAS CITY Mo. -- The Kansas City Missouri School District is officially unaccredited. As suburban school districts head back to class, the anticipated flood of transfers out of the district is not happening.

Neighboring schools aren't accepting students from the KCMSD. Like many issues involving schools, it's all about the money. Who is going to pay to educate transferred students elsewhere and how much should it cost. It seems no one is going anywhere until that part of the problem is worked out.

Even districts on the fringe of the metro have had inquiries. Administrators in the Ft. Osage School district say Kansas City Parents want to transfer their kids there. All parents are being told that no transfers are being accepted.

"There's a misconception on the part of parents that we're somehow not wanting these students in our district because of where they come from," said Maria Fleming. "There are other factors. That's not the case."

Ft. Osage says it costs over $10,000 to educate a student its high school for one year. Other districts have set similar tuition costs for outsiders. It's comparable to some private schools. Rockhurst High School tuition is $10,650 for the current school year. The Kansas City School District is only willing to pay neighboring schools $3,733 for each of its students that transfer out. That's the basic state aid Kansas Schools receive from Jefferson City.

"The Independence School District and many others have set a tuition rate which has to be paid in advance by the KC School District," said Jim Hinson with the Independence School District. "So, since Kansas City has said we are not paying that amount of money and we are not paying in advance, therefore we rely on our own school board policy to say no you cannot attend school at this point in time."

Kansas City schools have agreed to pay transportation costs to North Kansas City, Independence, Center and Raytown. It's not paying for places like Ft. Osage. Property taxes pay the lion's share of most public education. Unless Kansas City schools agree to part with some of that money, those who want to transfer are left to wait.

New enrollments that are being accepted are from families who physically move into a new school district's boundaries. Districts FOX 4 talked to on Tuesday say those kinds of transfers happen all the time.

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