School a week old for Minnesota students in Iowa

Associated Press

ALBERT LEA -- Most Minnesota students went back to class on Tuesday, but for nearly 60 students from the Glenville-Emmons district, classes began more than a week ago -- in Iowa.

The student's unusual trip across the border is the product of dissatisfaction with the recent decision by the Glenville-Emmons district to close a middle school in Emmons, and the district's nine-year-old agreement with Lakes Mills, Iowa, for open enrollment across state lines.

As a result, Lake Mills became one of the few rural districts in either state to grow this year. Lake Mills began its school year Aug. 25 with its enrollment swelled to 763 students, including 58 students from Glenville-Emmons. There were 11 G-E students the year before.

"We were expecting to lose 27 students if we didn't have this influx," said Daryl Sherman, Lake Mills superintendent.


The district hired two more teachers, changed its lunch schedule and added a new bus and route to accommodate the additional students. They were able to make the changes because the new students bring money.

In 1994, the Lake Mills and Glenville-Emmons school districts entered into an agreement for open enrollment across state lines. The agreement says that the lower of the two state subsidies will be given by the district that is losing the student to the district gaining one.

In Iowa, schools get $4,648 per student. Minnesota gives G-E around $5,400 per student, although the actual amount varies for various factors.

So, when Lake Mills gets a student from G-E, G-E gives Lake Mills about $4,468 and keeps the difference.

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