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The Beatrice board of education has declined the invitation to join the Greater Nebraska Schools Association.

GNSA is an organization that promotes the general advancement and equitable funding of education.

“Basically, this group focuses on sustainability that the equalization aid component of the school funding formula,” Superintendent Jason Alexander said during Monday night’s board meeting. “That’s a great thing for them to focus on, and it makes us fit with them because we are still one of those schools that receives equalization.”

Alexander said that state aid currently makes up approximately 47 percent of the Beatrice Public Schools’ total revenue. He also applauded GNSA’s work educating state senators about state aid formulas.

However, membership dues for GNSA are $4,250. Alexander thought that due to previous years, membership would cost closer to $2,500.

“Due to that factor, I hesitate to jump in and become members of the organization,” Alexander said. “Not because they don’t do a lot of great things, but at this time I just find that the membership is cost prohibitive.”

The district is currently a member of the Schools Taking Action for Nebraska Children’s Education organization, which aims to clarify the purpose of state aid formula components.

In a previous board meeting, Alexander said that STANCE schools often don’t receive state aid like BPS and GNSA-affiliated schools do. However, STANCE schools’ enrollment figures are similar to Beatrice.

 Alexander said there were no membership fees for STANCE in previous years, but he didn’t know whether that was still the case.

The board voted 6-0 to refrain from GNSA membership at this time.

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