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St. Albans Parents Vow to Stay out of District

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Classroom 2-a, Getty Images, Adam Hester
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ST. LOUIS, Mo (KMOX) KMOX News recently told you about parents in one Missouri school district who took their fight for a shorter bus ride all the way to the Governor. Now the Governor has rejected a bill that would have allowed them to send their kids to closer schools. Some families say their fight isn’t over.

Cory Kraft says he’s discovered that educators get to do the very thing he wanted to do: enroll their kids in the school system where they work and the district where they live doesn’t have to pay tuition. “I don’t think you can discriminate a child and say well because your parents do this for a living and your parents do that for a living and therefore your admissions standards are different.”

Washington school district had fought Kraft’s request to send two of his children to neighboring Rockwood Schools. But when the state ruled Washington’s bus routes were longer than law allowed, Washington was required to pay tuition to the closer schools. Kraft had helped draft legislation that would have limited travel by miles instead of minutes. While he’s vowing to fight the Governor’s veto, Kraft says he’s also considering legal action because teachers’ children are treated differently than other taxpayers’ families.

The Governor’s office has said the bill amounted to an unfunded mandate — a violation of the Hancock Amendment.

“Quite honestly I thought you can live 19 miles from school and have another right on the way to work with open seats and not find a way to make that happen,” says Kraft expressing his disappointment in the Governor’s action.

Kraft says for now the state has ruled his two high schoolers can continue to attend a much closer school in the Rockwood district instead of travelling nearly twenty miles to go to Washington High School.

Washington schools added a shorter bus route after the state determined the length of the daily trip to St. Albans (more than an hour and fifteen minutes) violated state rules. District officials have expressed concerns about the cost of paying tuition to Rockwood.

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