Missouri Senate advances scaled-back, less costly bill aimed at fixing student transfer law

Missouri senators have given initial approval to a less expensive proposal to fix issues with the state's flawed student transfer law.

The Senate in a voice vote adopted a new plan Monday. Legislative researchers now will estimate the proposal's price tag before it's up for a second Senate vote.

Current Missouri law requires failing school districts to pay tuition for students to attend better-performing schools nearby. That's created financial hardship for some districts.

If this year's measure passes, students first would transfer to better-performing buildings in their districts. The goal is to keep tuition within students' home districts.

An earlier Senate proposal stalled because of a nearly $200 million price tag.

The measure adopted Monday would cost roughly $25 million, although amendments added that day could rack up the expenses.