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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Entities affiliated with the Roman Catholic church have contributed more than $300,000 toward a Missouri ballot initiative that would authorize state tax credits benefiting private schools.
Records at the state Ethics Commission show the group Missourians for Children's Education was established this past week to support the potential 2014 ballot initiative.
It was launched with a $300,000 contribution from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and more than $11,000 from the Missouri Catholic Conference.
The initiative would allow a 50 percent tax credit for businesses and individuals who donate to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships for children to attend private schools or that provide financial aid for public school programs.
Up to $90 million of tax credits would be allowed annually.
School starts in Kirkwood on August 20th and Tuesday night parents in the south county district learned how their schools will be affected by the transfer of more than 150 students from Normandy and Riverview Gardens.
Kirkwood School Board spokesperson Ginger Cayce says class sizes may fluctuate slightly, but not enough to cause concern. Cayce says the $12,000 per transfer student that the district will receive will cover the cost of any extra resources needed. Cayce says the money would be spent on "technology, support staff resources, and any additional teachers or teachers aides we might need in the classroom."
About 650 people attended Tuesday night's meeting at Kirkwood High. There were questions about test scores and athletic opportunities, but most showed support for the students coming from the unaccredited districts. One man even donated money to help cover "incidental costs" for transfer students. He called on others with the means to do so as well.
Mehlville Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost says the district is making every effort to place students transferring in from Riverview Gardens without compromising the education of any student in the district.
Knost released a statement Monday evening in response to a lawsuit from the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri on behalf of three Riverview Gardens parents.
Mehlville has limited the number students it will accept from the unaccredited district in an effort to retain current class size limits and staffing levels, but the school-choice advocacy group says there's room for more than the 216 the district has accepted.
Knost says the District will work with legal counsel to respond appropriately to the court action.