Annual Report

2016–2017 Annual Report

picture of science students with goggles working on project

This is a special issue of the Annual Report from Lincoln Public Schools – a publication required by the Nebraska Department of Education — published and distributed annually to update our citizens about the school district.

This year we are featuring the full text of the new LPS Strategic Plan approved by the Lincoln Board of Education in December 2017, including major themes, strategic goals and action steps.

We are also including the basic facts and figures of our school district, including academics, demographics, finances and goals.

Finally, we want to take this moment to thank our community. Our school district is growing — in numbers and in academic achievement — success that happens when a community stands behind schools and supports public education. Thank you, Lincoln! Thank you for supporting Lincoln Public Schools.

Thank You Lincoln!

Thank you for supporting Lincoln Public Schools. As we reflect upon those who advocate for LPS, we offer a thank you card to express gratitude for their affirmation and support of our public school district. Thank you for investing in our students, our children, our future. Thank you, Lincoln, for your support of Lincoln Public Schools.

For more gratitude visit:

Photo of students at Scott Middle School showing devices they are thankful for


The Lincoln Board of Education approved a 2016-17 budget for $402 million and a 2017-18 budget of $421 million, providing educational needs for significant growth in the school district. Since 2005–06, LPS has reduced the total tax levy over seven cents — from $1.3142 to $1.2397. For 2017-18 the school district has a slightly lower levy of $1.2389 (the lowest levy in our records dating back to 1967-68). According to the most recent statistics: LPS ranked 228 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending ($10,842 per pupil compared to the state of Nebraska average of $11,901).

Pie chart showing distribution of spending with 61.6% of money going to Certificated Salaries and Benefits, 20% to Classified Salaries and Benefits, 5.9% to contract services, 3.9% to school buliding administration salaries and benefits, 3.5% to supplies, 2.6% to equipment, 1.8% to district level administration salaries and benefits, .5% to transfers and fixed expenses and .2% to other expenses


High school graduation rates and state student achievement assessment scores are all holding steady at Lincoln Public Schools – generally scoring above state averages – as the school district increases both rigor and student enrollment numbers.

The high school graduation rate for the LPS class of 2017 decreased slightly, from 85.6 to 85.2 percent, statistically staying flat, while LPS had more graduates than ever in 2017 (2,032 compared to 1,955 the year before). That means 85.2 percent of the students in the class of 2017 who started at LPS as ninth graders – and did not move away – graduated on time in four years (compared to a graduation rate of about 80 percent more than five years ago). The official graduation rate in Nebraska and across the country is what is called the “on-time” rate – students who graduate in four years. However, LPS also closely tracks students who stay in school and graduate in five and six years - and when we include those students, the total LPS graduation rate is 89.9 percent.

Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) achievement scores (assessment based on state standards) for LPS students are mostly above state averages – in fact, LPS scores are well above other large school districts in Nebraska.

  • In all grades tested, the percent of LPS students proficient on NeSA-English Language Arts exceeds the state average.
  • In grades 3-8, the percent of LPS students proficient on the NeSA-Math exceeds the state average in every grade. Results from the first year of using ACT scores for 11th grade achievement indicate the school district is above the state average.
Photo of two Rousseau Elementary students at the annual 5th grade Saltdogs game


A classroom full of students raising their hands to answer teacher's question

Student enrollment at Lincoln Public Schools continues to soar with an historic 41,760 students attending the school district in 2017-18, an increase of 830 over last year. That is an increase of almost 15 percent over the past five years – 25 percent over the last decade – growth that is happening throughout the community, north, south, east and west, in the older neighborhoods and the newer neighborhoods. We have more than 2,000 students at four of our six high schools.

Of our 41,760 students, 5053 received gifted services Of our 41,760 students, 7289 were served by special education Of our 41,760 students, 3094 were ELL immigrant & refugee students Of our 41,760 students, 46% qualified for free or reduced lunch

Strategic Plan

The Lincoln Board of Education approved a new Strategic Plan in December 2017, with a focus on academic success and global citizenship for all students, support for educators, family and community partnerships, and growth ready facilities. The school district spent more than a year gathering community voices and developing six themes for the new plan, an initiative that included 49 community sessions and 3,800 responses from community citizens. The six themes would provide focus for the school district over the next five years. See the complete Strategic Plan on the other side.

Read Full Text of 2017–2022 Strategic Plan