LPS likely to get $20 million more in state aid

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LINCOLN, Neb. – Lincoln Public Schools said it is starting to make the 2018-2019 budget and just learned it will likely be getting $146 million dollars from the state for the 2018-2019 school year. This is a $20 million increase from what they've been getting the past three years.

Cropped Photo: 401(K) 2012 / CC BY-SA 2.0

"It's absolutely needed, we are a thriving, growing school district and with that we're opening new schools, we have a significant amount of our budget that will grow simply with our 7,000 plus employees having very modest salary and benefit increases," said Dr. Liz Standish, Assoc. Superintendent of Student Affairs, LPS.

The Nebraska Department of Education said they decide which districts get what funding based on student population, the amount of students on free or reduced meal plans, and local property taxes.

"The state changed from where they pull the data for students on free and reduced meal plans and expanded how they certify students for it. This change increased [the number of] LPS students recognized in the formula," said Standish.

LPS said over the past three years it has added 1,800 students, recognized 2,000 more students as living in poverty, 655 more English-Language learners and 916 more students with special needs.

"The formula says here's what you need for your school district, here's what you can raise locally and if you can meet those needs locally then there is not state equalization aid," she said.

Standish said the district is going to meet with individual schools, grades, and programs over the next few months to determine where the $20 million will go.

LPS is asking for public feedback. Dates and times for meetings can be found here.