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Kirkwood Superintendent Responds to Turner v. Clayton Decision

The decision Tuesday ruled in favor of the Clayton School District in a transfer student case similar to a lawsuit that lists the Kirkwood School District as a defendant.

A St. Louis County court's decision in the Turner v. Clayton case that rules in favor of the Clayton School District could bode well for Kirkwood schools.

"Under the ruling, students from unaccredited school districts would not have the right to transfer to better school districts for free,"

The is facing a similar student transfer cases. In January, a group of St. Louis City firefighters sued the Kirkwood, Webster Groves and Lindbergh school districts for the right to send their children to the districts.

(See: )

Superintendent of the Kirkwood School District Tom Williams called the cases parallel and said Kirkwood would use much of the same arguments as the Clayton School District if the case against Kirkwood makes it to court.

"Our concern has been all along is that there are no reasonable parameters or rules about accepting students," Williams said. "We would like to see some reasonable rules that would allow some students to come into the county, but not in such numbers it would overwhelm us."

(Read the complete Turner v. Clayton ruling issued Tuesday in the PDF attached.)

"This ruling has a significant impact on our schools, as a ruling against the districts involved could have led to an influx of students into Kirkwood," the Kirkwood School District says on its Facebook page. "It is still possible that a larger solution could come out of Jefferson City."

Williams said the district assumed the ruling would be appealed and sent to the Missouri Supreme Court.

"We're not in a position to accept students until guidelines are in place, because we don't want to open a floodgate without having some ability to not accept students," he said.

The ruling supports the District's position that legislative action or more guidance from the courts is needed.

"We're still in a holding pattern to see if those things will happen," Williams said.

The decision has found likes on the Kirkwood School District Facebook page.

"Great ruling for local control, but the problem of unaccredited schools still exists for 28,000+ kids. A global solution is needed," Kirkwood School Board member EJ Miller says on the page.

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Owen Skoler May 03, 2012 at 10:02 PM
What do you think? Is the decision good news for Kirkwood schools? Readers are chiming in on our Facebook page.

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