LPS Proposed Budget

(KFOR NEWS  June 23, 2021)   The LPS preliminary proposed budget totals about $463 million, an increase of 1 1/2%. Currently, the preliminary budget proposal provides a decrease of one penny in the overall property tax levy.

Other highlights of the 2021-22 preliminary proposed budget include:

  • The Board prioritized keeping cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. Staffing at schools was adjusted to match the drop in enrollment during the past school year.
  • A proposed $9.4 million in reductions include cutting spending on contracted services, equipment and supplies, and eliminating approximately 85 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions through attrition by not filling existing vacancies or not replacing open positions.
  • Reductions were made to offset fixed expenditure increases, which include salary and benefit costs of $6.4 million, and $1.5 million in insurance premiums.
  • Start-up costs for the new elementary school and a new high school opening in the fall of 2022 of approximately $3.8 million.
  • Implementing an extensive reading intervention program at multiple grade levels instead of offering the licensed Reading Recovery Program at first grade will reach more students and save approximately $61,732.
  • Restructuring the gifted facilitator positions to a centralized system will provide more specialized services to more students and save approximately $324,223.
  • Hiring more school nurses to replace health technicians and treatment nurses will provide a reduction of $7,335.
  • Consolidating bus routes provides more efficiency and reduces the budget by nearly $100,000.
  • In 2019-20, LPS ranked 213th out of 244 school districts in Nebraska in per pupil spending – $12,889 per pupil compared to the state average of $13,558.
  • The General Fund Levy will remain at $1.05, but reductions in the Bond Fund Levy and the Qualified Capital Purpose Fund Levy will lower the overall levy one penny to $1.211892 from $1.221966.

This is a residential property revaluation year, and property valuation increases in 2021 will lead to major reductions in State Equalization Aid for 2022-23. In the past, LPS used the residential revaluation year to add to the cash reserve – a practice that offsets the negative impact of State Equalization Aid dropping significantly the following year. Since 2019, LPS experienced a significant drop in State Equalization Aid – approximately $30 million. It is possible that state equalization could drop $10-20 million next year.

There will be two budget forums – one in person and one virtually – with a short presentation and time for community questions, comments and feedback.

  • In-person forum: Wednesday, June 23, 5 p.m. in the LPS District Office boardroom (5905 O St.) This forum will also be streamed live for viewing on the LPS website and the LPS YouTube channel.
  • Virtual forum: Thursday, June 24, at noon, join the forum to provide feedback and ask questions using this link. This forum will also be streamed live on the LPS Facebook page.

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