Aid recommended for consolidating Nebraska schools

Posted by: KLKN Newsroom,

(AP) A legislative committee is recommending additional aid for small Nebraska schools that are looking to consolidate.

Sen. Kate Sullivan, chairwoman the Legislature's Education Committee, says the recommendation came from talks with rural school-district administrators. Lawmakers held hearings this year on Nebraska's K-12 school funding formula.

Lawmakers opted not to make major changes to the formula, but they agreed to support a one-time expenditure of $2 million to support school districts that are making the transition. The funding would come from Nebraska Lottery revenue.

Supporters say district consolidations often require additional money to pay teachers or to offer buyouts, or to get rid of buildings that are no longer needed. Jon Habben of the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association says the costs are difficult to predict.