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Senator asks State Board of Education to let legislative process 'run its course'

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As legislators on both sides of the aisle -- and in both chambers -- file bills modifying the school transfers law, one senator asked the state Board of Education to let the process "run its course."

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, released a statement today reminding the board of its statutory limitations. 

"I ask the (board) to keep in mind the Legislature’s prerogative to set public policy, as well as its own statutory limitations, before making a decision to change our accreditation system," Dempsey said. 

Dempsey's statement comes just before Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro is expected to present a transfer law plan to the board Feb. 18. The board could vote on it in March.

The 1993 transfer law requires unaccredited school districts to pay tuition and provide transportation for students wanting to attend an accredited school in the same or adjacent county.

"Many of my colleagues have introduced legislation addressing the education crisis in our state, and I am confident we can find a solution that will yield promising results," Dempsey said.

He asked the board to work with the Legislature in solving the school transfer problem.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues, as well as the (board), to create a system that provides a quality education for all of Missouri’s children,” he added.

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Alex Stuckey is a statehouse reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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