KCMO school board announces plan to file lawsuit to stop student transfers

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Kansas City, Mo. -- There will be more work for the Kansas City Missouri School District's attorneys. The school board announced Wednesday afternoon it would go to court to block student transfers out of the unaccredited district.

Student transfers could cost the urban district thousands of students and millions of dollars -- but it could also mean another big drop in test scores the district has been working to steadily improve the past few years.

That's why the board says action is necessary to protect the students and their achievement, as the board believes they haven't been given a fair shake.

School Board Chair Airick West was vague in his public comments about legal decisions the board made after a two-hour closed-door meeting on Thursday.

"We have to protect it from outside circumstance that threatens that achievement," he said.

But there was no mistaking West's disappointment in the state's denial of provisional accreditation for the district.

"At the same time, that our superintendent remains focused on the educational achievement of our scholars, we have instructed our legal counsel to pursue remedy, litigation that we hope will protect our scholars from the chaos that has followed the transfer policy," West said.

On Friday morning, the district's legal council will ask a court to put a stop to student transfers until the board continues its fight for the provisional accreditation it believes it's earned.

"Three years of stability have produced the growth and stability that we've witnessed, but if we do not protect that very stability then the well-being of our scholars threaten to plunge into chaos," West said.

There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the school board's intention with the courts and their grievance with the department of elementary and secondary education. West did not take questions after his news conference Thursday, only saying  all questions should be answered when the court documents are filed Friday morning.

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