Executive Summary Excerpt

budget_frontTeachers and students in Lincoln Public Schools will continue to excel in the classroom and school activities during the 2015-2016 school year. In addition to developing a solid academic foundation in mathematics, literacy, and other basic academic skills, students will continue solving physics problems and working with calculus formulas, exploring science and world history, learning about other cultures and the global society, and developing an appreciation for the fine arts. Increased student achievement for all students through excellence in teaching and learning continues to be a clear expectation of the Lincoln community, and is the number one priority for Lincoln Public Schools.

State aid was certified on February 19, 2015 for the 2015-16 budget. Lincoln Public Schools must carefully plan for the coming years.  The Education Committee of the Legislature continues to pursue interim studies related to funding education in the state.  There is a direct correlation between state funding to public schools and reliance on local property taxes.  The assessed valuation is projected to increase by 6.5%.  The total estimated 2015-16 LPS property tax levy is projected to remain flat when compared to the 2014-15 levy.

Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) faces both challenges and opportunities in the coming year, and does so with a pledge to continue providing quality education for all students. Educators will keep a clear focus on teaching, learning, and student achievement. The Board of Education and administration will continue to focus on providing a quality education for a growing population of students with increasingly diverse needs.  Increased staffing to support student growth and growing student needs is an extremely high priority in development of the district budget.

On February 11, 2014 voters approved a bond issue for a new elementary school, a new middle school, a career academy, additions and renovations at existing facilities, and security and technology improvements throughout the school district.  Many of the fifteen construction projects are well underway.  The Career Academy doors will open to students this fall marking a major accomplishment.  In addition, every learning space in the district will have infrastructure improvements to support digital content and instruction by the fall of 2015.  Many classrooms will be equipped with projectors, large scale monitors, and audio enhancement systems to support learning during the 2015-16 school year.

More students will arrive at LPS in the 2015-16 school year. The district is projecting an increase of 900 students.  Textbooks and school supplies will cost more. The cost of utilities, fuel for buses and other operational costs will continue to rise. There will be an increase in the number of students who speak languages other than English, who have special needs, and who are living in poverty.

The LPS Proposed General Fund expenditure budget is $379,827,330 for the 2015-2016 school year. This budget allocates 82.5% to instruction. This is consistent with the school district’s emphasis on teaching, learning, and increasing student achievement for all students.