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.

Rain expected to end by mid- to late morning
3 Nebraska Board of Education candidates call for high standards
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Douglas County Board candidates say they aren't ruled by party
96th Street to have head-to-head traffic
At NU's helm, J.B. Milliken built the university by building relationships with state leaders
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
Ex-Obama official urges approval of Keystone XL pipeline
Benefit to be held for family of Omaha shooting victim
Omaha Personnel Board to weigh a ‘ban-the-box’ proposal for city job applications
New Alegent Creighton Clinic to open in Council Bluffs
Grace: Your older self has a request — use sunscreen
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
< >
Kelly: Huskers' glory days of '80s live on — on the small screen and on stage
The 1984 NFL draft was unusual for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and these days it's remembered in the name of a rock band, the 1984 Draft. Tonight, the band will be featured nationally on the NFL Network in a documentary about — what else? — the 1984 draft.
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
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 »