Millard school board puts brakes on proposed free busing -
Published Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 1:00 am / Updated at 11:01 am
Millard school board puts brakes on proposed free busing

A proposal to provide free busing to middle-school students failed to get traction with Millard school board members Monday night.

But a proposal for a new college-credit program at Millard South High School got the go-ahead for further study.

The board discussed the proposals at its monthly committee meeting.

Currently, middle-school students pay $3 a day to ride the bus.

Ken Fossen, associate superintendent for general administration, proposed free busing as a way to assist with the district's transition to new attendance boundaries.

The change could encourage students to attend the schools in their newly assigned areas instead of opting to take advantage of grandfathering to attend their current schools, Fossen said. No transportation is provided for grandfathered students, he said.

In December, the school board approved new attendance boundaries effective for the 2014-15 school year.

The boundary changes come with a grandfather clause and a sibling rule, both intended to minimize disruptions to families while creating enough student movement to ease concerns about crowding at certain schools.

Fossen told board members the busing change could be phased in over six years, beginning with the middle schools most affected by the boundary changes: Andersen and Central. The program would cost $1.8 million over six years.

Several board members said they preferred to stay with the pay system for now.

Board member Dave Anderson said he didn't want to pull money from academic programs to spend on transportation.

Meanwhile, board members reacted favorably to the proposal to launch an “early college” program at Millard South.

Mark Feldhausen, associate superintendent for education services, said the program would allow students to earn an associate degree while simultaneously completing high school graduation requirements.

The program has the potential to make Millard South a “destination school,” both within the district and for open-enrollment students across the metro area, he said.

Students could obtain credit from Metropolitan Community College that would be transferable to the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Feldhausen said. Students would complete the necessary courses during their junior and senior years.

Students would make a commitment to attend Millard South on a full-time, permanent basis. Classes would be taught by Millard teachers with master's degrees plus 18 hours of study in their subject area.

Feldhausen got the board's approval to continue planning for the program. He said he hopes the Millard Public Schools Foundation will provide scholarships to cover Metro tuition costs.

If all goes well, the program would be in place for the 2015-16 school year, he said.

Board member Mike Kennedy said the program would save money for taxpayers and parents by accelerating students' college education.

“I've been pushing it for years,” Kennedy said. “I'm pumped.”

Contact the writer: Joe Dejka    |   402-444-1077

Joe's beat is education, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school.

Crews working to subdue brush fire that may spread to Fontenelle Forest
Financial picture improving for city-owned Mid-America Center
No injuries after fire at midtown's old Mercer Mansion
29-year-old Omahan arrested for 22nd time in Lincoln
Police: Slaying of woman in Ralston apartment likely over drugs
Explosion near 29th, Woolworth damages vehicles
Omaha police arrest man, 19, accused in March shooting
Earth gets its day in the sun at Elmwood Park
Beau McCoy strikes Obama doll in TV ad; Democrats are not happy
17 senators in Nebraska Legislature hit their (term) limits
It's a pursuit of pastel at Spring Lake Park's Easter egg hunt
Keystone XL pipeline backers blast 'political expediency' as foes hail ruling to delay decision
Nebraska senators to study tax issues over break
Portion of Saddle Creek Road closed after water main break
Teenager arrested after woman's purse is snatched outside Omaha store
Police identify 21-year-old shot in ankle near 30th, W Streets
Cult murderer's death row appeal denied, but execution in limbo
Interstate construction to cause lane shifts, closings in Omaha area
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
< >
Dickson’s Week in Review, April 13-19
On Twitter some guy tweeted that the spring game isn’t taken as seriously as a regular-season contest. What was your first clue? When the head coach entered waving a cat aloft?
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »