Facing a significant increase in the cost of data processing services now contracted with the State Office of Education, the Jordan Board of Education has called for a study of possible alternatives.

The district has contracted with the state office for data processing for an annual cost of about $395,000. In 1989, the office agreed to consolidate services with the state's data processing system. The result has been higher costs.Jordan's expenses could increase threefold over the next few years if state shortfalls are passed along to users, said Cindy Nagasawa-Cruz.

The state consolidation was undertaken on advice of a study conducted by Price-Waterhouse. The study may have underestimated usage of the state system, said Nagasawa-Cruz.

The state office has included an increase in data processing funds in its budget request that will be considered by the Legislature, which begins meetings next week.

If the state were to begin billing Jordan directly for services, the total could exceed $1 million over the next two years.

Jordan has benefited by its contract with the state office, Nagasawa-Cruz said, because "the contract was on the low side and usage has been on the high side."

District staff will begin a study of options in case the Legislature does not grant state office money to cover the additional costs.

The expense of creating the district's own data processing system would be considerable. During a period of high growth, Jordan has been able to use the savings it realized by linking with the state office system to purchase portable classroom units and take other steps to house and teach additional students.