(This post originally appeared on the Show-Me Daily blog)
Bre Payton of Watchdog.org has a great piece today about the Normandy/Francis Howell transfer situation. She tells the story of Paul Davis, a Normandy parent whose autistic 16-year-old son benefited from transferring to the Francis Howell School District last year. Davis says, “The transfer program shouldn’t have ever been taken away. We were thinking our lives were going to get better, and then all of the sudden they pulled the rug out.”
Despite having the rug pulled out, Davis and other parents are pushing to make sure their kids receive a quality education. They are being fought at every step. The Francis Howell School District has told parents that they are only allowed to return if they get a court order that states the district must accept the student.
The Francis Howell School District justifies their actions by taking what I have called the “faux moral high ground.” The Watchdog elaborates:
Francis Howell officials have said they don’t want to drain Normandy’s coffers, since Normandy was required to cover tuition costs for students to attend schools in other districts.
“Sending some students to outside school districts depletes the resources for the larger student population who remain in the unaccredited school districts,” Jennifer Henry, communications manager for Francis Howell, said in an email to Watchdog.org.
As I explain in the article, “Because districts are allowed to set their own tuition rates, they could easily charge Normandy less if they were truly concerned about depleting Normandy’s funds.”
This situation reminds me a lot of what Howard Fuller, civil rights activist turned school choice supporter, said about Harriet Tubman. He asked, “Did Harriet Tubman want to end the system of slavery? Of course she did. But until that happened, she woke up every day to try to save every single slave that she could.”
Wanting to fix the schools in Normandy is a worthy goal. For now, we should provide students a quality education elsewhere.
I encourage you to check out the entire Watchdog piece here.