Lawyers battle over funding for KCPS transfer students

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Legal arguments that began Monday in a Jackson County courtroom could force Missouri lawmakers to provide additional funding to school districts that are being forced to accept students transferring from the unaccredited Kansas City Public Schools.

Lawyers representing taxpayers in the school districts of Lee's Summit, Blue Springs Independence, North Kansas City and Raytown claim that the state is not providing enough funding to for the districts to cover educational costs for the transferring students.

Their research estimates that 7,759 students will transfer out of of Kansas City public schools.

However, attorneys representing the state claim that the number of transferring students is a guess and therefore there is no way to prove insufficient funding claims. 

The case will likely continue through Wednesday.

The policy allows students to transfer to a school within Jackson County or an adjoining county. But while the district is required to pay for transportation and tuition costs, it's not clear exactly how much they are supposed to pay.

Leaders from the other districts say they have no problem accepting transfers, they just want to be reimbursed the right amount.

Under the current plan, Kansas City has agreed to make monthly payments totaling $3,700 per student.

But North Kansas City, for example, requires $9,500 upfront.

In the meantime, those students who have expressed desire to transfer are being put on waiting lists until the legal issues are sorted out.

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