Amend School Transfer Law - MO Revised Statute 167.131
  • Petitioned Tom Dempsey

This petition was delivered to:

President Pro Tem - Missouri State Senate
Tom Dempsey
Speaker of the House - Missouri House of Representatives
Timothy Jones
Missouri Governor
Missouri State Senate
Missouri State House

Amend School Transfer Law - MO Revised Statute 167.131

    1. Andrea Stopke
    2. Petition by

      Andrea Stopke

      Weldon Spring, MO

The Missouri Revised Statute 167.131 allows for students in an unaccredited district to transfer to any school district within their home county or to any district in an adjoining county. This is doing nothing to fix the issues that reside within the unaccredited district; it is simply transferring the issues and problems of one county to another county, without tax payer approval.

Leaving this statute as-is, opens the door to repercussions that could be detrimental to numerous communities and counties; potentially affecting the quality of education in the accepting school district.

Added 07/08/13 -

I have been asked why I decided to start this petition and what outcome I expect. Here is my answer:

I began following the comments on the Francis Howell School Districts Facebook page after the initial announcement by Superintendent Sloan, and subsequent posts by the FH District. I watched the comments going in a direction that was very unflattering to our community and taking the issue off topic (on both sides of this issue). I posted a few times asking the posters to take some sort of constructive action, like emailing the FH board members, state legislators, etc. This seemed to have very little effect and the comments got continually worse. While I respect everyone's view on this issue, complaining to one another and getting in heated conversations on Facebook do nothing to fix the issue. I began researching petitions and how to voice my concern in a productive way and came across the change.org site and thought that it was a good starting point.

I feel very strongly in community, civic, and personal responsibility. Transferring students to other counties is not the solution to fixing the problem within the unaccredited district. The Normandy school district and the Riverview Gardens school district have been let down by their own community. The leadership in these districts need to stand up and be accountable for the shape that these schools are currently in. By limiting transfers within the school's home county, puts pressure on the districts and communities as a whole to do something about the decline in education for their children. These children and families have been let down, but whose burden is this to carry and what will this do to the unaccredited district?

My main goal with this petition is to get Missouri Legislators to listen and re-evaluate this law. The bottom line is to fix the issues in failing districts rather than allowing these districts to skirt the issue and simply transplant the problem. Leaving it as is, in my opinion, is unacceptable; tax payers and accepting schools should and need to have a say.

I have seen posts on Facebook saying that signing this will do nothing to change the law. I take that as a challenge and see it as part of my civic duty and my parental responsibility to my children to voice my concern and to be heard. What outcome am I seeking? A special session would be ideal. But if that doesn't happen, I would like our elected officials to note that leaving the law as written is a concern to a number of tax payers and ask that they address this issue once back in session.

When asked about the city of St. Louis and their 1 school district, my reply is this:
St. Louis City chose to secede from St. Louis County in 1877 in order to limit it's political boundaries. Obviously, this is a very valid issue that St. Louis City needs to address in regards to limitations proposed in my petition on amending the transfer law.

Since St. Louis City chose to be unincorporated, perhaps they should utilize the funding they would spend on tuition and transportation to transfer students and fix their current infrastructure.  This would serve to help the other school districts such as Normandy and Riverview Gardens, as well. What if every adjacent county and surrounding county was unaccredited; what would they do then? Addressing the core issues within the individual district is the only way to fix this situation.  If St. Louis City wants to protect and or limit political boundaries, why can't the counties?

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. Assessing Blame

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      I have had the privilege to speak to someone who is familiar with our State government and found out some things that blew my mind on this issue. We are pointing the finger at certain elected officials but perhaps the finger pointing needs to start elsewhere. There are politicians that need to be held accountable for those whom they are serving; and it isn't our children.

      Education reform bills are getting killed; never making it to the floor to be heard. Maybe we need to look at the individual school boards, education lobbyists, and the NEA (teachers union). These individuals have a huge influence on whether a bill will get passed, let alone make it to the floor. Certain elected officials have the choice whether to listen to their constituents or to satisfy lobbyists and they aren't choosing the children.It is truly sad that when it comes down to it, some politicians are choosing special interests (protecting the behinds of a corrupt Ed. establishment) over our children's education.

    3. Governor Nixon Signs Senate Bill 125

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      This is a start, but by no means the end to addressing the transfer law issues. Governor Nixon signed this bill today. http://www.senate.mo.gov/13info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=17149792

    4. Reached 1,000 signatures
    5. TV Time...

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      At least one station is listening. at 12a KSDK posted this http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/387942/3/Petition-aims-to-change-school-transfer-law under their top stories. We are one of the top news stories on Today in St. Louis!

      Petition aims to change school transfer law

      Francis Howell High School WELDON SPRINGS, Mo. (KSDK) -- At least one St. Charles County woman is taking a different approach to the school transfer controversy. She's petitioning state officials to change the law. Andrea Stopke posted the petition on change.org July 3rd. And it already has more than 8-hundred signatures.

    6. KTRS Interview

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      Sorry I didn't post this earlier, but here is the interview with John Carney on The Big 550 KTRS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue4G7C5Z9lc

      Andi Stopke Interview with John Carney on The Big 550 KTRS - Missouri Transfer Law Petition

      http://www.change.org/petitions/missouri-legislature-amend-school-transfer-law-mo-revised-statute-167-131

    7. Press Release

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      I have taken the next step, in regards to the petition. I have sent out "press releases" to KSDK, KMOV, KMOX, Fox2 as well as the following news outlets in the Kansas City area: KMBC, KSHB,KCTV5, AND FOX4KC. I still urge everyone to keep contacting your State Representatives, Senators and Governor Jay Nixon. As long as we keep this in the public eye, we will have to be answered to!! Thank you for all of your support!

    8. Reached 750 signatures
    9. Going Live On-Air!

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      Tomorrow morning, our petition hits the airwaves. I am being interviewed about the petition on The Big 550 KTRS at 7:50a. Again, I hope that I represent our voices in a acceptable manner to all. After all, I am not a politician or public speaker...just a concerned mom and citizen.

    10. We've Made The Headlines!

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      The article was posted this morning as a headline. Thank you everyone for getting this noticed! https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/31767/student_transfer_petition_070813?coverpage=3591

      St. Louis Beacon

      The St. Louis Beacon, an online-only publication, combines high quality reporting and new technology to bring you news that is smartly presented, frequently updated and thoughtfully discussed. A non-profit organization, the Beacon aims to serve and engage citizens by creating a distinctively different news medium in which users can play an active role.

    11. We've captured media attention!

      Andrea Stopke
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you everyone for signing! I just wanted to update you and let you know that our petition has gotten the attention of local media. I have been contacted by Dale Singer of the St. Louis Beacon and Elisa Crouch from the St. Louis Post Dispatch. I hope that I represent our voices in a acceptable manner to all. Thank you all!!

    12. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • John McHaffie ROGERSVILLE, MO
      • 10 months ago

      I'm signing this not as a father, but as a taxpayer. We all pay taxes specifically for schools, whether we have no kids or 10 kids. Fair? No. Necessary? Another debate. Since it is the way it is - then a school simply should not exist if it isn't going to meet the required standards. Dumping responsibility off on others is not a lesson children should be taught is it?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Stacey Farley ST. LOUIS, MO
      • about 1 year ago

      I Don't want my tax dollars going to children in other counties. I want them to Educate the children in my own county.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patti Zern INDEPENDENCE, MO
      • about 1 year ago

      We pay taxes to our district so the children living in that district can benefit. If a district has lost accreditation then either move out of the district or send your child to a private school. When you look for housing the school district should come first. Our school now has no room for extra students. It wouldn't be fair to them.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Christina Perkowski ST. LOUIS, MO
      • about 1 year ago

      I am a Mehlville school district parent and I DO NOT support the transfer law.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Diane Shuey BRIDGETON, MO
      • about 1 year ago

      I am a teacher. We need a law that protects the students of failing districts and that assures each high school senior a shot at graduation regardless of the status of his or her district. We are playing with real lives here. These students deserve a fair chance at success.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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