Normandy schools hold public forum to discuss financial issues

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 23 at 7:43 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Normandy school officials on Monday held a public  forum to give an update on the district’s status, including what it’s doing to help regain accreditation.

Normandy Superintendent Dr. Ty McNichols hosted the first of two community meetings at the Pagedale Family Support Center.

During the meeting, McNichols said the district owes $1.5 million per month for the student transfer program. That comes out to about $15 million this school year.

To cut costs, the district is doing several things, including checking class sizes and evaluating their non-required and essential programs.

When asked how the district is going to stay intact in its current financial situation, McNichols said he will worry about it when the time comes.

He said this Wednesday is “count day” in Missouri. That means the district will have a better idea of just how many students it has. He said so far more than 300 students have come into the district since the first day of school.

McNichols said kids who transferred are welcome back at any time. All they would have to do is sign a waiver informing the district they are coming back. McNichols said if a student comes back from a Clayton district, then that essentially $19,000 Normandy doesn’t have to pay. It is $12,000 for every student who comes back from Francis Howell.

McNichols guarantees with the plans and cuts he has in place, Normandy will be able to pay the bills through the end of the school year. He would not confirm or elaborate on whether schools will need to close.

The community meeting came just days after the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education asked Gov. Jay Nixon for an additional $6.8 million in emergency funding. The money is so Normandy can cover tuition and transportation costs for the nearly 1,100 transfer students and nearly 3,00 0students who remained in the district.

While Normandy’s academics and finances weren’t exactly on solid ground to begin with, a state Supreme Court ruling in the spring that allowed students from failing districts to transfer to nearby, better performing schools, makes finding that footing even more difficult

McNichols said he’s already looking at cutting staff and programs to trim $15 million from his $53 million budget.

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