Executive Summary Excerpt

budget_frontTeachers and students in Lincoln Public Schools will continue to excel in the classroom and school activities during the 2014-2015 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 April 4, 2014 for the 2014-15 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 are many questions about the future of financing public education in Nebraska that remain to be answered by the legislature.

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.

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.  The ground breaking for The Career Academy on May 2, 2014 marked the beginning of fifteen construction projects, nine of the projects will be initiated by the close of the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, every learning space in the district will have infrastructure improvements to support digital content and instruction by the fall of 2015.

More students arrived at LPS in the 2014-15 school year. The district had an increase of 1,222 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 General Fund expenditure budget of $363,569,935 for the 2014-2015 school year represents a 5.2% increase from the previous year’s budget. This budget allocates 83% to instruction. This is consistent with the school district’s emphasis on teaching, learning, and increasing student achievement for all students. The assessed valuation increased by 1.65%. The total 2014-15 LPS property tax levy is slightly less when compared to the 2013-14 levy.