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Who Pays the Price For Failing MO Schools?

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are trying to prevent an influx of students transferring out of failing schools after the state Supreme Court partially sided with a group of St. Louis parents suing to force unaccredited districts to pick up the tab to send students to accredited schools.

Critics say the lawsuit could overcrowd suburban classrooms and bankrupt the struggling school systems in St. Louis and nearby Riverview Gardens, the state’s two unaccredited districts.

About 72,000 school-age youths live in those districts, including about 28,000 now attending private or parochial schools.

Ten other districts, including Kansas City, are provisionally accredited, which means the lawsuit could potentially affect them if they become unaccredited.

“The implications are tremendous not only just for those living in the St. Louis district but those receiving districts,” said Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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