Can I send my kid to a public school not living in the district if?

Asked by Rod L, Saint Louis, MO Sun Feb 24, 2008

I own a small investment property in Clayton, MO. I live in another area of Saint Louis, MO. I pay real estate taxes, so can I send my school to the public schools there?

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Ken Herrera…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Hello Rod,

Although I do not reside in your area, your question is a very common one. Generally schools want children to attend the school they are specifically zoned for. Have you contacted the school and asked them about their policy on zoning? Consider speaking to the school and getting a very common "Zone Variance," it may have another name in your parts, but it basically states your child can attend the school even though they do not live in the zone required to attend. Zone Variances are very common, happens often when people move and do not want to take their kids out of school in their last year of elementary, middle schoool and or high school. The school will make the final decision, however I'm sure you know there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Good Luck,
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Ken's answer is pointing you in the right general direction. However, very likely the decisions will be made well above the actual school. It's sometimes easier if it's within the same city or county. There generally will be some sort of procedure (or procedures) that the school board has established on when it will permit a child who lives within the boundaries of one school to attend another school.

The ease with which this can be done will vary, based on the city or county. Also, very frankly, it can vary depending on the racial or ethnic makeup, or other factors, of the two areas. For instance, the school board may want greater diversity in a school. If you're trying to transfer a child out of the school, and the child belongs to the group the system wishes to retain or attract, it may be very difficult. On the other hand, if your child belongs to a group that the new (that is, your hoped for) school wishes to attract, you may find it very easy to make the transition. You may also find anomalies if the tax rates in the two jurisdictions are dissimilar. For instance, if you're in a district that taxes homeowners (or allocates for schools) $3,000 per student, and you're trying to transfer to a district that spends $8,000 per student, you may find the new jurisdiction reluctant to accept your child.

Hope that helps.
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Ken Herrera…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Hey Rod,

I'm glad to be of service. If there is anything you need, keep your trulia community in mind.
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Rod L, Home Buyer, Saint Louis, MO
Mon Feb 25, 2008
Thanks Ken. I'll contact the school directly. I wasn't even sure how to get started. Thanks for the input.
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