A trial to determine how to handle requests from Kansas City students who want to transfer to suburban school districts has been delayed until Aug. 6.
Hundreds of students are expected to want to bail out of the struggling Kansas City Public Schools because of the district state accreditation in January.
The trial date, originally set for June 25, now pushes close to the start of the school year, but an attorney for the suburban districts doubts a local judge’s decision would ultimately decide the issue anyway.
Both sides agree that state law allows students in an unaccredited district to transfer to an adjoining district or one in an adjoining county. They disagree, however, on financial details.
The suburban districts have said they are willing to accept Kansas City students as long as somebody pays tuition and transportation costs. But what the Kansas City district has said it would pay falls short of what the suburban districts want.
On Monday, attorney Duane Martin said that a decision either way would likely be appealed and that the case is probably headed to the Missouri Supreme Court.
Martin represents the North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Independence and Blue Springs districts.
Recently a St. Louis circuit judge ruled that the state’s transfer policy is unconstitutional because it amounts to an unfounded mandate — forcing local jurisdictions to carry out state-ordered functions without providing the money to cover the expense.
“We would be pleased to see that happen here,” Martin said.