New Bloomfield Schools discuss opposing open enrollment legislation

New Bloomfield R-3 School. (Fulton Sun file photo)
New Bloomfield R-3 School. (Fulton Sun file photo)

New Bloomfield School District recently had a discussion opposing legislation about open enrollment.

During this month's board of education meeting, the district made talking points opposing open enrollment.

For the past several legislative sessions of the Missouri General Assembly, the issue of open enrollment for all Missouri school districts has been debated.

This proposed legislation is going to be debated again in the 2023 Missouri legislative session. Some statewide education groups, organizations and cooperatives are opposed to open enrollment.

Some of New Bloomfield School District's primary talking points were first that no state or national studies or research have shown that open enrollment improves student outcomes or achievement.

Under open enrollment, the loss of students from a district will leave less funds and other resources to educate the remaining students. Some school districts are likely to lose students in sufficient numbers to force school closures and consolidations.

Other talking points were that Public School Districts will be pitted against one another to attract students. Districts will be compelled to spend significant money, time and effort marketing to students residing in other school districts. Members should be aware that, if passed, legislators will only attempt to further expand open enrollment, the board of education said.

Sarah Wisdom, superintendent at New Bloomfield School District, said the board tabled the resolution.

"It was tabled so we could see how the bill will change as it goes through the process. The board felt like they wanted to see how it progressed before taking a stand on this idea," she said.