It's complicated. That was an appropriate reaction from a local resident I asked about open enrollment. It is clear that the current way of funding education is unfair - students in wealthier districts have advantages that students in less wealthy ones don't.
But is allowing students to go to any district their parents choose the correction that's needed? Districts are raising valid concerns.
The proposed legislation which was pre-filed before tomorrow's opening in Jefferson City isn't in its final form, but at least one Senator who attended public hearings on the issue heard concerns from rural/urban/large/small districts. Districts have their concerns about funding, transportation, athletics, staffing, etc. with a fluctuating population, but there's something for all property owners to consider, too. It's kind of a snake chasing its tail problem. Property values are based in large part on the school district, so if the district is a good one, like Clayton, property values are high. High property values can result in more tax revenue and continued high funding for the good districts. The poorer districts retain lower property values and consequently lower tax revenue for schools. An oversimplification, maybe, but an illustration nonetheless. It is complicated.
By the way, I chose Clayton because its a great district not to far from ones with less opportunities. Clayton may have concerns about open enrollment but it is not an elitist concern. They opted to stay in the deseg program when other districts, like Ladue, opted out. More than a third of its student body does not live in the Clayton 63105 zip.