What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

District to bar non-students from summer school

Posted by: Steve Brandt under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government, Urban living Updated: May 29, 2013 - 4:45 PM

Don't bother showing up for summer school with the Minneapolis school district if you're not enrolled in a district school or a charter school located in Minneapolis.

That's the new dictum from Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson after she discovered that the district loses $200,000 educating non-district students. That's because it doesn't get state reimbursement for those students. At most, roughly 300 K-7 students would be affected based on preliminary counts, plus an undetermined number of high school students.

"I guess we could charge a fee for that," Johnson mused when she announced the change Tuesday evening.

Johnson at first said that no non-district students would be admitted to summer schol, but the district amended that Wednesday when it discovered the law reimburses summer school students from Minneapolis-based charters. District officials said they weren't sure of the eligibilty status for students who enroll out of the district to other public schools through open enrollment or the Choice Is Yours program. 

Johnson said the loss is a luxury the district can't afford as it tries to balance its budget for next school year.  The district already has cut some $24 million in expenses as it prepares the budget for board approval..

Minneapolis kids have plenty of options for enrolling elsewhere: private and parochial schools, charter schools, open enrollment to suburbs and the Choice is Yours program.

Summer school for students entering eighth grade or younger starts June 17 and goes for six hours daily four days a week through July 25.  The deadline for registering was last Friday, although some households didn't get a district resource guide telling them that until this week.  Other options for older students, including classes that help high school students make up credits, or entering ninth graders to get a head start on them, also are available.

Non-district students will still be eligible for the summer meals program, Johnson said, because the district gets reimbursed for that, Johnson said.

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