The 2020–2021 LPS Proposed Budget

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The 2020-21 school  year represents an unprecedented time in PK-12 education. The district is working diligently to put protocols in place related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Teachers and students in Lincoln Public Schools will continue to excel in the classroom and school activities during the 2020-21 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 23, 2020, for the 2020-21 budget. The 2020-21 state aid certification represents a significant decline in state aid for the second consecutive school year. Lincoln Public Schools must carefully plan for the coming years. State funding for PreK-12 education continues to be a priority topic and the economic impacts from the pandemic are still unknown. There is a direct correlation between state funding to public schools and reliance on local property taxes. The assessed valuation is estimated to increase by 3%.

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.

A growing school district must plan for additional staff and expanding facilities. During the 2018-19 school year, the district updated the 10-year facility and infrastructure plans. A community group, the Superintendent’s Facility Advisory Committee, made recommendations related to the facility needs of the district and on February 11, 2020, voters approved a bond issue for two high schools, an elementary school, renovations to Park Middle School and Everett Elementary School, focus program facilities, early childhood facilities, and athletic facilities. In addition the bond includes repair, additions, and maintaining infrastructure throughout the District as well as the acquisition of new sites.

LPS expects enrollment to increase by 247 students in the 2020-21 school year. Textbooks and school supplies will continue to cost more. The cost of utilities, fuel for buses and other operational costs will continue to rise. There will likely continue to 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 proposed expenditure budget of $460,394, 060 for the 2020-21 school year represents an estimated 0.4% increase from the previous year’s budget.