Normandy Running Out of Time

By Daniel Bodden

Normandy School District is projected to be bankrupt by April 1 due to the strain the transfer program has put on the district’s budget. Normandy has asked the State legislature for $5 million in supplemental funds to keep the district funded through the end of the school year, but, as of press time, no action has been taken.

“Right now, we are operating on reserves, but we need help,” Normandy Public Relations Representative Daphne Dorsey said. “We have saved $3.5 million by closing a school and laying off 100 employees in December, but we still need the support from Missouri to provide supplemental funds.”

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) originally submitted a supplemental budget request for $6.8 million for Normandy last October, but Normandy is only asking for $5 million after its recent cuts.

“We have advocated and they [Normandy] have advocated for that, but it’s really up to the lawmakers whether or not they decide to appropriate those funds,” DESE Communications Coordinator Sarah Potter said. “We don’t know at this point whether it’s going to happen, but it doesn’t seem to be gaining a lot of traction with the lawmakers.”

If Normandy goes bankrupt, a State statute indicates that the district would lapse; however, there is still some question of what exactly this would mean or if the students could finish the school year. According to Dorsey, the district shu!ing down would have a serious impact on the community.

“The district is the glue to keep the community together,” Dorsey said. “On Feb. 1, 300 people came to hear our reformation plan. There was an outpouring of support to say ‘You can’t let Normandy fail or lapse.’”