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Highlights of 6/26 Lincoln Board of Education: Budget Work Session and Regular Meeting

 

Lincoln Public Schools: Highlights of 6/26 Lincoln Board of Education: Budget Work Session and Regular Board Meeting

 

The Lincoln Board of Education held a Budget Work Session and a regular Board meeting on Tuesday, June 26, at Lincoln Public Schools District Office, 5905 O St.  The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 31. 

Highlights of Board meeting

Superintendent goals 2018-19

The Lincoln Board of Education Tuesday presented for consideration the Superintendent’s official goals and priorities for the 2018-19 school year:

  1. By February 1, 2019, establish the Superintendent Facilities Advisory Committee to review needs, options and priorities. 
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of existing focus programs and explore options for alternative instructional delivery methods, and provide a report by April 1, 2019.
  3. Implement a 21st Century Human Resources and Business System, with a status update by April 1, 2019.

Annually, the Board of Education evaluates the superintendent and develops annual priorities for the coming school year. 

Approved grant applications

The Board Tuesday approved several grant applications:

  • Submission of the McKinney-Vento Grant application for approximately $44,000 with the final allocation to be determined by the State of Nebraska after submission. This grant requires a 100 percent match from Title I allocated to the school district. This grant helps support the LPS Homeless Outreach Advocate who works with families experiencing homelessness to arrange transportation services for children to attend school, and to provide other supports which create a more stable environment for children experiencing homelessness.
  • Submission of a federally-funded grant application to the Department of Education – projected at $2.5 million over a five-year period – to support full-service community schools. This is a new application and will provide funding to partner with community-based organizations to employ neighborhood Quadrant-Based Community builders as identified in the 2015 Community Learning Center Strategic Plan. It is projected that approximately 12,000 LPS students and their families will be impacted by this project. This program provides support for the planning, implementation and operation of full-service community schools that improve the coordination, integration, accessibility and effectiveness of services for children and families, particularly for children attending high-poverty schools. No financial match is needed from LPS.

Agreements with LPS employee groups

The Board approved 2018-19 agreements with additional employee groups that include: Administrators, Custodial Employees Association, Maintenance Employees Association, Nutrition Service Workers Association, Office Professionals Association, Para-Educator Employees Association, Technicians, and Transportation Employees Association – as well as pay rates for substitute and miscellaneous employees.

Agreements include:

  • Administrators:  The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.76 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent. 
  • Custodial Employees Association: The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.96 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent.
  • Maintenance Employees Association: The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.96 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent.
  • Nutrition Services Workers Association:  The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 3.06 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent.  The service year stipend will increase by $.05, beginning at the 3-4 year level.  The two-year service stipend will be available for all nutrition services employees (currently for FSW I only).  The time used to take the training classes for Restricted Shift Manager (three hours) and Prep/Cook (two hours) will be covered by the district. 
  • Office Professionals Association: The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.88 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent.
  • Paraeducator Employees Association: The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.88 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent.
  • Technicians: The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.96 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent.
  • Transportation Employees Association: The salary increase for 2018-2019 is 2.67 percent with a total package increase of 2.68 percent. The service year stipend will increase by $.10.

Included in the total package increases for each employee group are all district costs including the district’s contributions to health insurance, state retirement and Social Security.

In addition, the Board approved the 2018-19 pay rates for substitutes and miscellaneous employees.  The salary increases range from no increase to a 2.88 percent increase, depending on the employee group.  The determination of what salary to recommend is made in conjunction with the supervisor of that employee group and an assessment of the availability of candidates for the positions.

Transportation plan

The Board of Education approved the annual Transportation Plan for 2018-19 with these major changes:

  • Increases in routes for Early Childhood routes: Belmont, Brownell, Campbell and Holmes elementary schools.
  • Increases for students with special education needs: Eastridge Elementary School.
  • Increases for students in Life Skills programs: Humann Elementary School and Lux Middle School.
  • Increases for English Language Learning students: Maxey Elementary School, and Culler and Goodrich middle schools.
  • New VOICE sites.

Cooperation between LPS and Educational Service Unit 18

The Board voted approval of a three-year extensions of two Interlocal Cooperation Act Agreements between LPS and Educational Service Unit 18, that provides the school district with core services (including staff development, technology and instructional materials) and educational services (including instructional media services, technology and staff development).   The renewal period for the agreements is September 1, 2018, through August 31, 2021. 

Proposed agreement with Community Learning Centers

The Board approved the annual agreement with organizations that provide services to the Lincoln Community Learning Centers: Boys & 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

Legislative guidelines

The Board approved the annual Legislative Guidelines that provide guidance to school district staff and representatives communicating with governmental bodies when it is not possible to survey the Governmental Relations Subcommittee of the Board for specific guidance on legislation or policy.

Student Celebration
This school year, LPS celebrated academic excellence with many of our high school students from across the community who achieved the highest possible ACT scores, and were named National Merit Finalists and Presidential Scholars. 

The Board Tuesday heard remarks from Leslie Eastman, director of Assessment and Evaluation at LPS, and three students who achieved the highest possible ACT score (36).  These students were representatives of the many high achieving students at LPS:

  • Emma Jewel, Lincoln East High School
  • Cole Shank, Lincoln High School
  • Greg Hubbard, Lincoln Northeast High School

Highlights of Budget Work Session

The Lincoln Board of Education held a Work Session Tuesday in the continued steps of putting together the building blocks of developing a wise and prudent budget for 2018-19.

The LPS 2018-19 proposed budget proposal includes an overall one and one-half cent reduction in the property tax levy.

The proposed budget includes:

  • Significant investments in safety and security measures.
  • Staffing and programming increases to support substantial student growth (4,400 more students in past five years).

Questions:

http://www.lps.org/about/budget/

lstandis@lps.org 

Additional info: In the past five years LPS has grown 4,400 students – as well as growing in complexity of needs – while the tax levy has been reduced by two cents ($1.22 this year compared to $1.24 in 2013). 

In the past few months, the Board has reviewed about $31.7 million in increased needs and prioritized them, funding a proposed $22.5 million of added needs. Tentatively funded are:

  • Providing help to classrooms and schools with: added teachers and staffing for regular education, special education, early childhood, English Language Learners (refugees and immigrants); added school counselors, social workers and health care workers.
  • Security measures that include school resource officers at middle schools, broadened threat assessment, mental health supports, funding for Community Learning Centers, an additional security coordinator and funding to ensure a standard for security measures at the entrances of every school in the district.
  • Funding for growth in additional areas such as instructional materials, technology needs, operations and transportation.

LPS has a solid process for budget development with a continued focus on stability in programming for students and families – and opportunity for community feedback.  LPS ranks 227 out of 245 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – spending $11,274 per pupil compared to the state average of $12,230. 

The 2018-19 proposed expenditure budget for LPS totals about $443 million, a 5.34 percent increase over the previous year. That budget is funded by several revenue streams, including two major sources: property taxes (estimated to grow 5.2 percent this year), and state aid to education, $20 million more than last year. 

High-quality public schools at a reasonable price bring tremendous value to our community.  


Published: June 26, 2018, Updated: June 26, 2018