0969L.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk



To repeal section 167.131, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to student transfers.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Section 167.131, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 167.131, to read as follows:

            167.131. 1. The board of education of each district in this state that does not maintain an accredited school pursuant to the authority of the state board of education to classify schools as established in section 161.092, RSMo, shall pay the tuition of and provide transportation consistent with the provisions of section 167.241, RSMo, for each pupil resident therein who attends an accredited school in another district of the same or an adjoining county.

            2. The rate of tuition to be charged by the district attended and paid by the sending district is the per pupil cost of maintaining the district's grade level grouping which includes the school attended. The cost of maintaining a grade level grouping shall be determined by the board of education of the district but in no case shall it exceed all amounts spent for teachers' wages, incidental purposes, debt service, maintenance and replacements. The term "debt service", as used in this section, means expenditures for the retirement of bonded indebtedness and expenditures for interest on bonded indebtedness. Per pupil cost of the grade level grouping shall be determined by dividing the cost of maintaining the grade level grouping by the average daily pupil attendance. If there is disagreement as to the amount of tuition to be paid, the facts shall be submitted to the state board of education, and its decision in the matter shall be final. Subject to the limitations of this section, each pupil shall be free to attend the public school of his or her choice. Prior to the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, the department of elementary and secondary education shall establish specific criteria for the admission or rejection of nonresident pupils residing in districts that have been declared unaccredited who seek admission into adjoining accredited school districts. No public school shall deny admission of any nonresident pupil from any district that has been declared unaccredited unless such criteria are met. Appeals by either the district or the parent may be made to the state board of education.