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Beatrice Public Schools have been asked to join the Greater Nebraska Schools Association.

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

During a board of education meeting Monday night, Superintendent Jason Alexander explained that BPS - despite being ranked Class B - compare with the Class A schools in the GNSA because they’re both equalized districts, meaning they receive state aid.

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.

STANCE is comprised of Class B and Class C schools, which Alexander said align more with BPS’s enrollment figures. However, the organization is largely districts that are not equalized.

“We are kind of in the minority of the STANCE organization, whereas all of the Class A schools that are in GNSA are equalized districts who receive state aid,” Alexander said. “So we fit both categories.”

Alexander said Beatrice was previously in GNSA and actually one of its founders before leaving the group along with several other schools years ago.

“I wasn’t here, so I don’t know, but I think at the time there were just some big discrepancies that were taking place,” Alexander said. “I think that as time has passed, the unity of schools has been addressed.”

Alexander said there are schools that are part of both organizations, and he thinks Beatrice should do that as well.

“Become a member of GNSA, but maintain your membership in STANCE to be able to have the opportunity to work both sides, whatever issue it is that is necessary for us to be able to participate,” Alexander said.

Alexander said according to previous years, STANCE has no dues for membership, while GNSA cost $2,500.

Board member Steve Winter said he believes the GNSA dues go towards lobbying.

“We definitely want to be involved in lobbying situations, and if that’s what GNSA will offer us, I just think it might be helpful to get back into it,” Winter said.

The board agreed to look into the GNSA dues before making a decision.

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