K.C. Schools Want $6M Back from Charters

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – The embattled Kansas City School District claims Missouri illegally diverted $6.1 million from its budget to charter schools. At issue is the state’s attempt to require school districts to divert property taxes to charter schools.

     On June 15, 2006, a federal judge prohibited Missouri from requiring such diversions until 2014.
     The ruling applied both prospectively and retroactively, from 1999 to 2005, the school district claims in Jackson County Court. It says the Federal Court found the state’s attempt violated a settlement agreement that dismissed the state as a defendant in a long-running desegregation complaint.
     The plaintiff claims the state forced it to divert $6.1 million to defendant schools Don Bosco Educational Center, Hogan Preparatory Academy and Southwest Charter School, between April 2005 and June 2006.
     It says, “the diversion of the approximately $6.1 million of funds to the charter schools was wrongful, unauthorized, and in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the United State Constitution.”
     The school district wants the money back. It is represented by Derek Teeter with Husch Blackwell Sanders.
     The School District of Kansas City has had well-documented financial problems.
     In March, the district announced it was closing 29 of its 61 schools to address a $50 million budget deficit, caused in part by students moving to charter schools.

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