LPS, ESU 18 budget public meetings

LPS 2020-21 Budget

Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs Liz Standish presented highlights of the Lincoln Public Schools 2020-21 preliminary proposed budget during a public hearing Monday night at LPS District Office. There was no public feedback or comments during the hearing.

The preliminary proposed budget totals about $460.4 million, an expenditure budget increase of less than one-half percent. The preliminary budget proposal provides no increase in the overall property tax levy and a continued emphasis on student needs, including an increase in funding for Early Childhood Education and school counselors. The preliminary proposed budget minimized reductions to the Multicultural and Equity Office and Special Education Department.

Other highlights of the 2020-21 preliminary proposed budget include:

  • LPS experienced a significant drop in State Equalization Aid for the second year in a row - approximately $20.2 million reduction this year and $13.6 million last school year. 
  • LPS has seen continued growth in enrollment, with historic highs of 42,297 students in 2019-20 and a 15 percent increase over the last decade. 
  • There is an $11 million reduction in the General Fund budget; the one-half percent increase is the result of negotiated staff agreements. 
  • The preliminary proposed budget does not eliminate programs, nor does it propose a reduction in force. Position reductions proposed are through attrition.
  • Other reductions include cutting department budgets by three percent. Overall reductions were made through decreasing contracted services, equipment and supply account lines, and all out-of-state travel.
  • LPS is proposing to levy $1.05 in the General Fund levy with the expectation that the total district levy will stay flat.

Despite this year’s unique circumstances, LPS continues to rely on a solid process for budget development that includes multiple opportunities for community feedback. There were two budget forums in June, one in person and one virtually, and a work session open to the public in July. The proposed budget now goes to the Board for first reading at its Tuesday meeting.

More information about the LPS preliminary proposed budget can be found on the LPS website: lps.org/about/budget.

ESU 18 2020-21 Budget

Following the Board’s public hearing, the Educational Service Unit 18 Board held a public hearing on its proposed 2020-21 budget.

ESU 18’s proposed 2020-21 budget totals $14,892,001, a decrease of $354,610 from 2019-20. 

ESU 18 is funded through a variety of sources, including property taxes, state aid, Federal Programs and interlocal agreements. ESU 18 funds a variety of programs to enhance education for LPS students, including these major areas:

  • Ongoing leadership coaching for principals
  • Access to technology for students and staff
  • Information management
  • Large scale state and district assessments
  • Data analysis
  • School improvement planning
  • Professional learning
  • Student access to high quality library and media resources, both online and in print

There was no public comment or feedback during the hearing. The ESU 18 budget now goes to the ESU 18 Board for first reading during a meeting following the Lincoln Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

Both hearings can be viewed here.

Published: August 24, 2020, Updated: August 24, 2020