Several roads are still closed across the Midwest, cutting off students’ access to their schools for the upcoming school year.
As a result, Kansas and Iowa families are looking to contract into Nebraska schools.
Beatrice superintendent Jason Alexander said it’s a situation that he does not believe the school has faced before.
Alexander said students have inquired about contracting to Beatrice Public Schools, causing the board of education to discuss how much to charge those students.
During their meeting Monday night, Alexander said that of the schools with policies in place, some are charging the average cost per pupil. According to the annual financial report for Beatrice, that would be $9,600 per student for the school year.
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Other schools are charging no more than $500 a semester per family, meaning one student would cost $250 a semester, a second student would be $150, a third student would be $100, and there would be no cost for any additional students.
“There’s a little bit of the state average component that’s involved,” Alexander said, “but there’s a little bit of a competitive average component that’s involved, as well... Those students [that] want to come to Beatrice, is cost going to be a factor as compared to them going somewhere else?”
Alexander said he would like to allow the administration to look at the requests on a case-by-case basis, as they do with option enrollment.
“In option enrollment, we have the ability to turn down requests if it is going to result in excess cost to the district, if it’s going to require a new program, if it’s not in the best interest of the current students that we have,” Alexander said. “I trust our administrative team enough that on a case-by-case basis that if we had situations that were similar to that, we’d have the ability to reject a contract student.”
The board did not vote on an official policy during the meeting.