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Lincoln Public Schools:Highlights of 6/29 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

Lincoln Public Schools: 

Highlights of 6/29 Lincoln Board of Education meeting

The Lincoln Board of Education held a second Community Budget Forum on Thursday, June 29 at Lincoln North Star High School. The Board will hold a Budget Work Session at 4 p.m. July 11, and its next regular meeting at 6 p.m. on July 25.

Highlights of 6/29 Community Budget Forum

Liz Standish, associate superintendent of Business Affairs for Lincoln Public Schools, Thursday presented a summary of the Preliminary Budget for 2017-18 and asked for community remarks.  During the two Community Forums – Tuesday and Thursday of this week – community members came to share a variety of comments about the budget. 

On Thursday, Standish explained that the 2017-18 LPS preliminary budget was student-centered and focused on the incredible growth in our school district – in student numbers and in student needs.

She explained that LPS works on a three-year forecast system to ensure sustainable revenue for supporting all students.  “We use that forecasting system to even out swings…taking into consideration the interdependence between state aid and property taxes…And we always have more needs than we can budget.”

This year’s budget very much focuses on the rapidly growing school district and student numbers – and growth in supporting programs such as Early Childhood and English Language Learners, Standish stressed. “We are not just growing a middle school each year, we are growing in diverse needs – we are growing a diverse middle school each year.”

Budget highlights:   

  1. The preliminary budget provides appropriate staffing, services, supplies and resources to address significant growth in LPS student enrollment. LPS estimates an increase of 950 more students for 2017-18 –bringing total enrollment to almost 42,000 students. LPS served almost 41,000 students this year, an increase of 12 percent or 4,450 students over the last five years.  The 2017-2018 school year will mark the fifth straight year of growth greater than 850 students each year – every year. 
  2. Student needs are growing as well – with an eye on growth in English Language Learners (immigrants and refugees), as well as Early Childhood students.

LPS officials recommend a slightly lower – essentially flat – tax rate for the coming school year. The 2017-18 preliminary budget for LPS totals $420.8 million – a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year.  Last year, the LPS budget increased 5.95 percent to keep pace with the growing student population and growing student needs.

According to the most recent statistics, LPS ranked 228 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – spending $10,842 per pupil compared to the state average of $11,901.

Budget work session materials located at: http://www.lps.org/about/budget/

 


Published: June 30, 2017, Updated: June 30, 2017