LPS considers 5.8% budget increase for 2022-2023 school year

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education is considering increasing its budget by 5.8 percent for the 2022-2023 school year.  The Board of Education met Tuesday to review the preliminary proposed budget.

Last school year, LPS increased its budget by 0.5 percent.  LPS said “moderate” budget growth will help invest in staff, open new schools, and address previous budget cuts.

“The goal of the three-year forecast is sustainability and stability as major swings in revenue are steadied through the utilization of cash flow,” Liz Standish, Associate Superintendent for Business Affairs said. “We face challenging economic conditions, workforce shortages, fluctuations in student enrollment, declining State Equalization Aid, and rising costs.”

LPS said it considered a three-year forecast to minimize the negative impact of drastic swings in revenues.  LPS experienced a 23% drop in State Equalization Aid over two years and utilized cash flow to balance previous budgets. In addition, there were drops in revenue and student enrollment related to the pandemic.

“We didn’t just shift all of the resources from existing schools to new schools,” Standish said.  “Dr. Larson (Associate Superintendent for Instruction) and his team really evaluated what would be the impact at the existing school and the determination was made that we need to bolster resources to help offset some of that impact.”

The LPS preliminary proposed budget includes a staffing compensation package increase of about four percent, $3.7 million for new schools opening, spending nearly $290,000 to help catch up the CLASS plan in purchasing devices that were delayed in previous years due to budget reductions, and funding to start bowling and girls wrestling teams at high schools.

The community can give feedback on the budget Thursday, June 30 in a virtual forum at noon or at 5:00 p.m. at the LPS District Office.

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