Superintendent says school board looking at next steps after court ruling

As we reported earlier, the state Supreme Court today voted to uphold the Missouri student transfer law, a potential blow to the Kansas City School District.

Superintendent Stephen Green has sent out a letter reacting to the decision. Here’s what he had to say:

Today the Supreme Court voted to uphold the accreditation transfer law. Upon receiving this ruling, we were disappointed but not surprised based on previous court decisions. We fully intend to comply with state law and cooperate with our neighboring school systems as we move forward in this process.

Based on DESE guidelines, we do not expect any transfers to take place before the 2014-2015 school year. At this moment, we do not know how many students may opt to transfer. We do not know the eventual cost of student transfers, as that is to be determined. We are hopeful our students will stay with us and continue their journey but in the end, we are fully committed to educating the students.

As always, our primary concern is for the welfare of our nearly 16,000 students.

They deserve a healthy, stable and caring school within their neighborhood. This ruling, along with an inadequate transfer law, has the potential to rip that away from thousands of urban students. That flies in the face of our community’s crystal clear desire for stable schools.

That stability is vital to effective teaching and learning. The ruling affirms our urgency in seeking an immediate administrative action by DESE – a change in our accreditation classification – as a means to protect that stability. The inaction to date has already been devastating and threatens every accomplishment made made by our students. The constant threat of student transfers, the recent revelations from DESE, and the incessant uncertainty for our families are the most present symptoms.

Despite this, we have waited patiently for action, keeping our focus solely on increasing student achievement, and we have been demonstrably successful in improving outcomes for students. Something needs to be done. Our children deserve stable schools and the time for greater action is near.

This ruling is fresh in our minds, and I’ll sit with our Board members in the upcoming days to determine our next steps to protect the integrity of classrooms and the education afforded to our students. We’re keeping all of our options on the table. We will protect the integrity of our schools, and we will place greater focus on obtaining our third year of increased achievement.


R. Stephen Green

Superintendent of Schools

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