LPS to take slow approach to audit recommendations

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- An outside consulting firm recently conducted an audit of Lincoln Public Schools' special education programs, identifying what the district does well and what it can improve on.

Tuesday night, parents, school board members and district leaders had more time to look over and discuss the results. Many people at the meeting wondered what the next step in moving forward will be.

To some parents surprise, the school board said implementing the recommendations could take up to three to five years.

While school starts in August, many said the process will start with simply understanding the audit results.

"They need time to digest this," LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said. "This is kind of a shock, you know, I mean nobody likes to hear that you have achievement gaps, but the only way you get better is to confront the brutal facts."

The school board is asking LPS staff to come up with some recommendations for the special education program by February. While some want to take the process as slow as possible, some parents worry it won't be fast enough.

"I don't want a child there right now that's in second grade to have those implementations when they're 12, you know," Parent Vicki Depenbusch said. "I don't want to see that it's going to take a decade to get to that point where it feels like those gaps are filled."

"If we jump right into this, it would not be good," Vice President of the Lincoln Public School Board Connie Duncan said. "We really need to take our time and do what's best for our parents, and our students and our staff."

Parents said they feel the board is on the right track and they hope the communication and collaboration will improve very soon. They also said they hope to be included in the process of any changes that are made based on the audit's recommendations.

LPS' ultimate goal is to close the achievement gap and work its way to a higher graduation rate.

For more information on the audit and its findings, click the link attached.