Sticker Shock for Students Wishing to Transfer Out of KC

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sticker shock. That's what parents looking to transfer their kids out of the Kansas City Missouri School District are facing.

Dan Harpool applied to transfer his daughter to a North Kansas City High School after the Kansas City Missouri School District lost accreditation. But when he discovered it would cost $5,700 in tuition, and that Northeast High School wouldn't pay, he doesn't see how transferring his daughter is possible.

"My daughter should be able to get a good education that's accredited," he said. "I should be able to take her anywhere within the Kansas City limits to a school that's accredited."

Harpool said he works hard as a delivery truck driver to provide for his family. Giving his daughter a good education is a priority, but the cost of doing so makes it nearly impossible. Because of the high cost of tuition that he is unable to pay, his daughter returned to Northeast High School, and that has Harpool fuming.

"I'm paying taxes over here," he said. "My taxes are going to these schools, and if these schools aren't accredited, what am I paying taxes for?"

In a prepared statement, North Kansas City Superintendent Todd White apologized for any misunderstanding.

"NKC Schools is not asking parents to pay any portion of tuition for KCPS students seeking to transfer. That`s the responsibility of Kansas City Public Schools, and that is one of the reasons we are challenging their student transfer policy in court," the statement read.

Early on, White said parents would be able to pay for part of the tuition. White now says it's against state law for anyone other than the school district to pay. Harpool said that's the way it should be.

"I thought there was no kid left behind," he said. "Is the government doing anything about this? We're supposed to have accredited schools that our kids can go to. You can't even get an education now in Kansas City, Mo."

A return to court for the squabbling school districts has been delayed as politicians try to figure out how much should be paid for Kansas City students wishing to transfer out of the district. For now, North Kansas City said it is accepting applications, but not enrolling any students.

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