Hearings were held at the City Academy in Saint Louis, by the Joint Interim House and Senate Committee on School Accreditation.
The function of this committee is to evaluate the impact of recent court cases on school attendance and student choices.
The testimony was riveting. Many groups were represented at the hearing. The firefighters, many of whom had their children present, testified to fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter and public servant, only to realize that they may have to choose between their careers and their children’s education.
The U. S. Army Recruiter testified to a serious deficit in applicants that resulted in them failing to meet their recruiting goals. This was evidenced by the lack of high school graduates that could pass the ASVAB test due to the inferior educational product of the Saint Louis and Kansas city school systems.
A number of the citizens that testified simply wanted to be able to have any solution passed and implemented. Others were quite specific in asking for the ability to send their children to a suburban district. The desire to access suburban districts is understandable, but the impact on those districts receiving the children is tantamount to destroying them.
Many districts are facing increased enrollment and decreased revenue as a result of the downturn in property values that has plagued the nation. Couple that with an unknown number of children and class size guidelines and there is a recipe for disaster.
My testimony centered on my support for school choice for unaccredited districts as well as reiterating the angst expressed at the amount of time the city schools have been unaccredited.
via CEAM, Childrens Education Alliance of Missouri
There was testimony referencing two recent school choice decisions from Missouri and Arizona. Many ideas and viewpoints were shared. The common theme was getting a quality education for children in the unaccredited districts.While the path to a solution may appear murky, the fix is clear. Allow children in unaccredited districts to attend private, parochial and charter schools of their choice. The time for these reforms is now. Online education may also be an option for students who cannot travel out of their district.