Proposed LPS budget increase would fund teacher pay raises, staffing at new schools

Lincoln Public Schools preliminary budget for the 2022-23 calls for a 5.8% increase from last year

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lincoln Public Schools preliminary budget for the 2022-23 calls for a 5.8% increase from last year’s budget.

Liz Standish, associate superintendent for business affairs, said a large chunk of that money will be committed to two key areas:

  1. Staffing new schools: “We include a blend of staffing that moves from our existing schools because we have students from our existing schools moving to the new schools, but we want to support both,” Standish said.
  2. Salary raises for teachers: “The Board of Education really wanted to do everything they could to recognize teachers’ hard work,” Standish said.

Due to the pandemic, the budget remained flat for the past two years, and the district had to make a few cuts, many of which are restored in the proposal.

“This budget does increase some of those one-time cuts we made for things like textbooks and technology,” Standish said.

She said LPS has three key revenue streams:

-Property tax

-Sales tax

-Income tax

“We do have increased revenue going into this upcoming school year that comes from a slight increase from property taxes,” she said.

About 60% of LPS funding comes from property taxes. The proposed budget calls for a slight drop in the tax levy, which means property owners shouldn’t see their taxes go up to fund LPS.

Other funding comes from state sources.

LPS will present the proposed budget to parents on Thursday.

“It was a focused approach to what are some of the highest priorities of the Board of Education in the district,” Standish said. “And we’ll be excited to take that out to the community for feedback.”

There will be a virtual forum on Thursday. LPS parents can provide feedback and ask questions using this Zoom link.

There will also be an in-person forum at 5 p.m. in the LPS District Office boardroom at 5905 O St. This forum will also be streamed live for viewing on the LPS website and the LPS YouTube channel.

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