Senate Bill 242 hot topic for schools

By Holly Brantley - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's a hot topic among school administrators and parents, Senate Bill 242. The bill would allow some students a choice of where they go to school. The bill would allow a student to attend another school if that school is closer, or they have a problem with transportation in their district.

While some like it, others say it opens the door for issues that go way beyond the classroom.

"Being close to the school where your child attends is big," said Deneke Murphy. Murphy is a mother of three and President of Alma Schrader's PTA. She's familiar with 242.

"I could see how the choice would be a convince for a lot of parents," said Murphy.

While parents like Murphy like the bill, educators we spoke with have a different perspective.

"There's certainly a strong opposition to this bill from educational organizations," said Dr. Jim Welker, Superintendent of Cape Public Schools.

Dr. Welker just returned from a conference where he says the bill had educators talking.

"I just think it opens the door for a whole lot of issues and doesn't have any advantages," said Dr. Welker.

Dr. Welker foresees problems with students moving from district to district and figuring out how many students each school needs to plan for.

Dr. Welker and other administrators say they have the biggest problem with the bill because it opens the door for gray areas that would make it easier for students to leave their home district for issues than location. Reasons could range from athletics to problems with the staff.

"I'd rather see us try and fix the problem in the student's home district," said Dr. Welker.

If it passes, 242 would mean tuition payments for districts, and transportation costs for parents.

"I think it's a decision that won't be taken lightly," said Murphy.

The bill is scheduled to be discussed in the Missouri Senate again this Friday.

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