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Supporters of Normandy School District Rally

St. Louis Public Radio

“Normandy Strong” was the cry Saturday at a rally for supporters of the Normandy School District, whose future is uncertain after losing accreditation and bearing the tuition costs of students transferred to other districts.

Officials estimate the district will be bankrupt in April if millions of dollars in supplemental funding isn’t approved by the legislature. Supporters are hopeful that the district, currently unaccredited, can survive this school year and beyond.  

Melinda Hathaway has three children in Normandy schools and says the area needs its local school district.

“When you break a community, you break the child, you break the family and that child loses that passion for their education if they’re sent somewhere they may not want to be, may not be well-received,” Hathaway said.

Supporters at the rally were asked to contact legislators and urge their support for the supplemental funding. Lawmakers are also considering several changes to the school transfer law.

Superintendent Ty McNichols says community events like the rally illustrate the need for the district to remain intact and under local control.

“We need to let Jeff City know that when we say people here are committed, they can see it. It’s not just words. But it’s also to give our community an opportunity to come out and voice their concerns, voice their support and show they’re united,” McNichols  said.  

State education officials recently took over the district’s foundering finances and appointed a committee to examine options for the district’s future.