Staff Editorial: Media focus on race ignores real issues

Students have transferred from unaccredited school districts to accredited ones due to June’s Missouri Supreme Court ruling which caused heated discussions about how to accommodate the 2,600 transfer students.

Due to protest from some parents within districts and the accredited districts trying to be in accord with the class seating size, “The New York Times” painted the uncertainness of accepting transfer students as racial prejudice taking away from the primary issues. While some racial remarks were made by parents, people have neglected to see the big picture.

People have failed to realize the strain on the school districts the students have left. Those districts are the ones that have to pay the tuition for transfers, which at WGSD is $13,157.88/per student per year.

Normandy has needed to cut programs due to $15 million cost of sending transfer students to new districts. The classroom sizes in WGSD also average about 17-25, depending on grade level, in accordance with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This does not leave much room for more students to transfer. Depending on how much space the district has, that is how many students per grade the district can invite. WGSD was able to invite 33 students.

Also, Normandy and Riverview Gardens only provide bus transport to three schools, Mehlville, Kirkwood and Francis Howell North. If students do want to go to other schools, their parents have to bring them, which for some takes several highway changes. Students from Normandy travel at least 24 miles everyday to attend schools in the WGSD.

“Our kids are friendly kids, and we’re used to new students coming to us through the voluntary transfer program from the City of St. Louis, and I see this a lot like that because in that situation we talk about how much room do we have and how many student, but here I’m confident the kids are having a good experience,” said Sarah Riss, WGSD superintendent.

“I don’t think the kids coming from Riverview and Normandy are distracting or keeping us from having a good experience and hopefully will enhance our lives.”

Leave a Reply