Normandy Waits for Answers

By Daniel Bodden

With only weeks remaining before Normandy’s school year ends on June 12, and only two days remaining before the current session of the Missouri legislature ends, no determination has been made on what will happen to

normandy highschool
normandy highschool

Normandy next year.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) currently has a special three-person task force set to make a recommendation on what changes should be made to remake the Normandy district. This committee is waiting to see what bills the legislature passes, if any, that would change the transfer program for next year.

“DESE is waiting on the legislature,” DESE Communications Coordinator Sarah Potter said. “They are working on a joint bill. They have to have that by May 17, but even then the governor could veto. On May 20, DESE will come up with its recommendation. What we really need is tuition calculation changes so Normandy can regain its financial footing.”

The joint bill that the House and Senate are working on includes measures that would change the way the tuition rates are calculated, accredit certain schools within unaccredited districts, and leave control of improvement plans up to to local district leaders, rather than DESE. The House and Senate bills include several different amendments, and it is unclear what version of the bill may be passed.

One point Normandy, DESE, and the legislature agree on is that the district should not be dissolved into others.

“The big thing is DESE wants Normandy to succeed and achieve,” Potter said. “We don’t want to close those schools; public education is the backbone of any community. The best place to receive an education is in the home district.”

Although the State did approve a $2 million supplement to keep Normandy open through the end of the school year, Normandy remains financially unstable.

“We did get the supplement to allow us to remain operational until June 30, but after that, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Normandy spokeswoman Daphne Dorsey said. “We deserve to stay open because we are working hard to educate these kids. We believe we have the tools at hand to make a difference and turn things around.”