Center School District Drops Out of Lawsuit

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Center School District in South Kansas City is no longer part of a lawsuit challenging Kansas City's policy for students who transfer to a neighboring district. A spokesperson for the Center School District says they dropped out because they feel like the judge's last ruling protects them and the five districts who are still in litigation with Kansas City.

None are being forced to take the KCMO students until Kansas City meets their tuition and transportation costs. The Center School District says it's spending almost $14,000 per pupil. Right now, Kansas City is only offering about $3,700 per student who transfers.

The superintendent of the Center School District says he understands why Kansas City is low-balling other districts. He admits that if lots of Kansas City students transfer to a district that's accredited, it could force more school closures in Kansas City and maybe even bankrupt the district.

"The more young people that transfer, the more difficult it'll be for KC to actually try to improve their program to the point that they can get accreditation or even survive as a district," said Dr. Bob Bartman with the Center School District.

Dr. Bartman says he has received 53 applications from Kansas City students who want to transfer to the Center School District. They could be in limbo for a while and be forced to keep attending Kansas City schools until a judge forces KCMO to pay surrounding districts more money.

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