School choice in Nebraska
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Educational choice options
Magnet schools, sometimes called theme-based schools, are public schools of choice that use a specialized subject area or innovative learning approach to attract students from more diverse backgrounds. In fact, magnet schools began as a way to desegregate public schools through choice rather than force. Magnet schools can reach beyond the barriers of school districts, but they are still managed and funded publicly by local districts, even though they are centered around specialized themes and subjects.
Nebraska has several magnet schools in the state. Approximately 25 of them are located within the Omaha public school system. Neither an exact number of schools nor demographic information is available from any known state or federal source. It is unclear why the National Center for Education Statistics did not report any magnet schools in Nebraska for the 2011-2012 school year.
An estimated 8,833 students were home-schooled in Nebraska during the 2012-2013 school year, which represented approximately 2.67 percent of all students in the state.
Home schools are called exempt schools in Nebraska. They are considered non-approved or non-accredited schools. In order to homeschool their children, parents or guardians must file for exemption with the Commissioner of Education 30 days before their school district begins classes for the new school year. They must file for exemption annually after that by August 1. Then, before the exempt school may begin, parents or guardians must submit a calendar for the school year detailing a minimum of 1,032 hours of instruction for elementary school students and 1,080 hours for secondary school students. A summary of instruction for language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and health must also be submitted, as well as a list of all potential instructional monitors.
In the 2011-2012 school year 37,073 students, or 12.3 percent of school age children, were enrolled in 207 private schools. Nebraska ranks 13th highest in the U.S. in private school attendance.
Public school open enrollment
The state has two public school open enrollment policies: a mandatory inter-district policy and a mandatory intra-district policy. The mandatory inter-district policy pertains mostly to the Omaha metropolitan area school districts. These policies allow students to transfer once prior to graduation, not including students moving to a different school attendance area. Schools are only allowed to opt out of this policy if there is no space available for the student. Priority is given to students whose siblings attend the school and then to students who would contribute to socioeconomic diversity at the school.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked no statewide ballot measures relating to school choice in Nebraska.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Nebraska + Education + Choice"
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- Education Policy in the U.S.
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- National Conference of State Legislatures, "School Choice and Charters," accessed June 18, 2014
- Friedman Foundation for School Choice, "What is School Choice?" accessed June 18, 2014
- Washington Examiner, "Another state joins the charter school movement," March 20, 2015
- Public School Review, "What is a magnet school?" accessed December 9, 2014
- Magnet Schools of America, "What are magnet schools?" accessed December 9, 2014
- Omaha Public Schools, "Magnet schools 2013 school choice brochure," accessed December 17, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Number of operating public elementary and secondary schools, by school type," accessed December 17, 2014
- A2Z Home's Cool - Home Education from A to Z, "How Many Homeschoolers in America?" updated February 3, 2014
- A2Z Home's Cool - Home Education from A to Z, "Nebraska Home School Laws," accessed June 24, 2014
- Keeping Pace with K-12 Online & Blended Learning, "Data & Information: Nebraska," accessed June 24, 2014
- U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Private School Universe Survey (PSS)", 2011-12 ; "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey", 2011-12 v.1a; "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.," accessed May 12, 2014.
- Education Commission of the States, "50-State Analysis," accessed June 24, 2014
State of Nebraska
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