Boundary changes are out, incentives in

The Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school board has dropped a plan to change elementary school boundaries, and instead will try using incentives to get families to switch schools.

The school board voted unanimously last week to have district staff develop a package of incentives, likely to include discounted all-day kindergarten, that officials hope will better balance enrollment at the district's 10 elementary schools.

Incentives are likely to be offered this fall in a pilot project at Rahn Elementary in Eagan, which could hold 150 more students.

The board came up with the plan after scores of parents objected to proposed attendance boundary changes that, if adopted this fall, could have moved 775 students. The changes were intended to move students from nearly full buildings to those with more capacity, and to spread poor and minority students more evenly across the district.

The resolution approved last week calls for the board to evaluate how well the incentives are achieving those goals by the end of 2013.