The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) would like to clarify the situation involving an African American Gateway Science Academy student denied transfer from St. Louis County to the Gateway charter school. This unfortunate situation is not due to state law or state regulations. It is a result of the student's change in residency.
Even if the family's new St. Louis County school district participated in the transfer program, the student would still not be able to transfer. This situation stems from the 1980 U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the St. Louis City and County schools were maintaining segregated systems. In 1983, the schools reached a Desegregation Settlement Agreement allowing African American students to transfer into primarily white suburban school districts and for non-African American students to attend St. Louis schools. The goal was to try to balance the racial makeup of the city and county schools.
There are no state laws or DESE regulations specifically preventing African American students from transferring schools.
Please contact the DESE Communications Office if you need additional information on this situation.