Normandy School Board withholds money to pay transfer bill

On Oct. 24, the Normandy School District Board of Education met to discuss upcoming bills associated with students who transferred to higher performing schools at the beginning of the year. A 3-2 vote solidified the decision to go against state law, and instead pursue a plan that will cut $3 million from the districts costs. This includes the closing of Bel-Nor Elementary in December and laying off about 100 teachers.

According to an update sent out by Francis Howell School District the next day, Normandy’s decision to withhold tuition payments will not have repercussions for receiving districts of transfer students.

The memo states that Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will “intercept the state aid payments from the sending district [Normandy] and divert those funds to the receiving district [FHSD] in order to avoid a situation of unreimbursed expenses.”

Because FHSD has abstained from spending more than has already been paid by Normandy, and the DESE commits to acting as a middle-man in the distribution of the funds, Francis Howell will not experience cuts due to bills not being paid.

In addition, students that transferred from Normandy at the beginning of the year will be allowed to attend their current school for the remainder of the year.

While receiving districts will not face financially losses, the Missouri Department of Education and Secondary Education threatens to withhold funds from Normandy if they fall more than two months behind in bills. These funds would be used to cover the costs of the unpaid tuition bills.