Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 6/13 Lincoln Board of Education budget work session, meeting
The Lincoln Board of Education held a budget work session and a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 13 at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St. The Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, June 27 at 6 p.m.
Highlights of 6/13 Lincoln Board of Education budget work session:
Preliminary Budget for 2017-18
Here are highlights of the preliminary 2017-18 budget for Lincoln Public Schools presented Tuesday. At this point, the Lincoln Board of Education will gather community feedback and input over the next months, further discuss the budget and aim to approve the final LPS budget in August.
The 2017-18 preliminary budget is funded by several revenue streams including: property taxes (LPS estimates property tax valuation will increase about 9 percent this year), and state aid to education (anticipated at $126.7 million, a very slight increase of $271,324 over last year).
Possible additional funding provided under preliminary budget:
Providing help to classrooms and schools by staffing for growth: added teachers and staffing for regular education, special education, early childhood, English Language Learners (refugees and immigrants); added counselors, school social workers and nurses.
Budget book and work session materials located at: http://www.lps.org/about/budget/
Highlights of 6/13 Lincoln Board of Education regular meeting
Administrative evaluations, contracts
The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday considered approval of the annual evaluation and contract for Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel, as well as contracts for the top administrators at LPS.
Proposed base annual salaries for the coming school year:
The Board will vote final approval for the superintendent evaluation and all the contracts on June 27.
New Business/Human Resources platform considered
The Board of Education considered a contract that would create a new platform for Business and Human Resources functions over the course of the next three years: called the Enterprise Resource Planning Project (ERP).
This new $6.5 million platform would replace the AS 400 Financial/HR system. The move will involve considerable work, but moving to a new data system for LPS Business and HR functions will eliminate many of the current stand-alone manual spreadsheet recording functions, which now require significant data input and manual processes. In addition, a new system will provide more functionality needed by the school district both now and in the future.
“This past system lasted 30 years, oh my gosh, we wrung every scrap of value out of the old system,” Board member Don Mayhew said. “Now it’s time to move on, it’s time to modernize…to leverage modern technology...This will result in changes that result in time savings, making us more efficient…There is a deliberate quality to our process….this will happen on a good timeline….I’m sure this is something that will be done very well.”
This is software that provides for the back office functions that support a school district: accounting, payroll, benefits, staffing, budgeting, finance tracking and projects, employee self-service, etc.
The software will collect, store, manage, process, interpret and report data. All finance and many HR functions will occur through the new system, replacing what currently functions through the AS 400. The data in the ERP will be a new centralized source where functions within the system can talk to each other.
Major financing would come from the Depreciation Fund. The Board will vote final approval on June 27.
Elementary Boundary proposed change
The Board considered a proposed elementary school boundary change focused on growth in the Firethorn area near 84th Street and Pioneers Boulevard, new development that would leave some single lots located within two different elementary attendance areas (Morley and Pyrtle).
To eliminate neighborhood homes and single lots being located within two different elementary attendance areas and the attendant confusion about the proper school attendance area, a change is proposed: Beginning with the 2017-18 school year and continuing until further modified, the Morley Elementary School and the Pyrtle Elementary School attendance boundaries be modified as: Having the Morley boundary concludes at 84th street, and the Pyrtle attendance area runs along 84th and Pioneers.
The Board will vote final approval on June 27.
Board considers new Transportation Plan
Each spring a transportation plan is prepared for the following school year, reviewing and considering proposed changes in bus routes.
Major proposed changes for next school year include:
The Board will vote final approval on June 27.
Educating homeless students
The Board discussed submission of the McKinney-Vento Grant application for approximately $44,000 with the final allocation to be determined by the state of Nebraska and dependent upon grants awarded to other applicants. This grant requires a 100 percent match from Title 1. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of federal legislation designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending and succeeding in school.
The LPS Homeless Outreach Advocate works with families experiencing homelessness to arrange transportation services for children to attend school and works with families to provide other supports that create a more stable environment for children experiencing homelessness. LPS will use funds received through the McKinney-Vento Act to continue to support the salary of the Homeless Outreach Advocate and to pay transportation costs for homeless children to attend school.
The Board will vote final approval on June 27.
The Board considered policy changes for the wellness policy and several changes for Board Operating Procedures
One proposed change for Operating Procedures included the creation of a Board Code of Conduct to “clarify mission, values and principles, and connects them to standards of conduct.” The proposal reads as follows:
Lincoln Public Schools adopts the following code of conduct for its school board members:
Board members had several questions on the various proposed policy changes for Board Operating procedures, and staff will bring back these policies with some suggested alterations at the June 27 meeting.
Refunding approved for 2009 bond series
LPS issued $100 million in general obligation school bonds in 2009, the second series issued for funding a comprehensive ten-year facilities improvement plan. Bond principal and interest are scheduled to be repaid through January, 2039. The current bond market may allow for an advanced refunding at a reduced interest rate, resulting in a reduction of debt service payable.
The Board Tuesday voted for LPS staff to work with the school district’s financial advisor (Ameritas Investment Corp.), bond counsel (Gilmore & Bell) and general counsel (Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford) to finalize refunding if and when the school district decides to proceed.
Indian Education program
The Lincoln Public Schools Indian Education program will provide support to Native American students in grades PK-12 in the 2017-18 school year, students enrolled in all schools across LPS representing about 60 tribes. The funding from federal grants specifically for Native American students is $138,292, and decisions regarding the use of these funds are made in consultation with the Native American Advisory Committee. The school district has received federal funds for services for Native American students since the mid-1980’s.
The Board finalized approval Tuesday for continuing this support. The U.S. Department of Education provides funds to fulfill the federal government’s responsibility for providing programs that serve Indian children of the highest quality and provide for the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children. The purpose of this program is to support American Indian and Alaska Native students in meeting the same challenging state student academic achievement standards as all other students.
Community Learning Center agreements
The Board approved partnering organizations for the Community Learning Center sites in schools throughout LPS: Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County, Cedars Youth Services, Family Service Association, Lincoln Housing Authority, Lincoln Parks & Recreation, Malone Community Center, Nebraskans for Civic Reform, North Pointe Community Church, Northeast Family Center, Willard Community Center, and YMCA of Lincoln. These organizations provide services to CLCs at a total expenditure of $1,045,992.
Newly annexed property
The Board assigned school attendance areas to property newly annexed in the city of Lincoln. Lincoln has annexed a parcel of land, which automatically brings this property into the district of Lincoln Public Schools. Grandview Estates 1st Addition, Annexation Ordinance #20483, proposed attendance areas for 2017-18 school year: Wysong Elementary School, Moore Middle School and Lincoln Southeast High School.
The Board approved several major food purchases for the coming school year:
The Lincoln Board of Education recognized Michelle Welch, Lincoln Public Schools Wellness Coordinator, named one of the Top 25 in the nation for Health Promotion Professionals by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA).
Published: June 13, 2017, Updated: June 13, 2017