- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (AP) - The University City School District has decided it will accept transfer students from the Normandy district.

The school board voted Thursday night to reverse an earlier decision to reject the Normandy students. Eighty students who had transferred from Normandy last year would have been forced to leave the district but now they’ll be able to re-enroll.

After the 5-2 vote, Laquette Collins smiled as she sat beside her 8-year-old daughter, Selena. “When they did that, I just wanted to jump up and say, ‘Thank you, God!’” Collins said.

On July 1, the Missouri Board of Education restarted the Normandy School District under state oversight and gave it no accreditation status, meaning it was no longer considered unaccredited. It’s now called the Normandy Schools Collaborative.

Several suburban St. Louis school boards have also voted not to accept Normandy students. But ever since the University City school board’s initial 3-3 vote on June 26 halted the influx of Normandy students, some board members said they felt conflicted about the decision, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1rmnmzn ) reported.

Their concerns included the financial implications and disrupting the lives of the Normandy students again. Also, there were questions about whether the students could jeopardize accreditation if they returned.

School board member Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who also is a state senator, said accepting the transfers could cause legal problems. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has asked receiving districts to keep last year’s transfer students, but Chappelle-Nadal said it’s one of many pieces of advice that aren’t rooted in statute.

“We’re in a gray area where administrative rules are superseding and circumventing state law,” she said.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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