Kansas City charter schools may owe millions - KCTV5

Kansas City charter schools may owe millions

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Charter schools around the metro may have to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer dollars to Kansas City.

The money was diverted away from the Kansas City School District by the Missouri Department Elementary and Secondary Education beginning in 2005.

At stake is millions of dollars. The Derrick Thomas Academy would owe $1.7 million while University Academy would owe $1.2 million. For 12 other charter schools, the bills would be in the hundreds of thousands if a recent court ruling stands by a state judge.

Some schools say repaying the funds could leave them bankrupt and closed. 

The issue stems from the Kansas City desegregation case, which lasted 25 years. In 1988, the school district spent $800 per student to pay off the $2 billion in school improvements.

The charter schools challenged the payments in 2005 and won. The district then challenged that decision and won.

At stake now is the funding that charter schools received during 2005 and 2006.

While the current leadership at the Kansas City School District headquarters has been improving the strained relationship between them and the charter schools, many believe seeking a repayment will only hurt that relationship more.

Although attorneys for the district say the school board may have little choice. Allan Hallquist, who represents the school district, says the charter schools could have avoided this issue almost a decade ago.

Hallquist said the Kansas City School District offered to waive the payback if the charter schools would stop challenging the payout following the 2006 decision. The charter schools did not.

The charter schools could still appeal the recent ruling.

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