Speech and debate students seek LPS funding to attend national competitions

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Students from different Lincoln Public Schools speech and debate teams went to a school board meeting Tuesday night.

They were asking the district to change a policy so they can get funding to attend a national competition.

Since the competition isn’t NSAA sponsored, students currently have to fundraise to go.

“If you’re not able to go to that because you couldn’t find the funding, it limits your career in speech and debate, but it also limits the ability you have to go to post-secondary education,” said Jack Anderson, a student at Lincoln Southwest High School.

The students said that for many of them, national competitions are a way to appeal to colleges and get scholarships.

“I think that by investing into this amazing opportunity for community we will be able to reap a lot of benefits for this generation and generations to come,” said Sarah Cai, a student at Lincoln East High School.

But LPS said it simply doesn’t have the funding.

“LPS has never covered the cost for students to go to the national levels,” Superintendent Paul Gausmann. “And that’s not just in this activity; that’s in other activities, all other activities. The only cost previously covered was for a coach. But those are the conversations I think we’ll need to have in the future.”

LPS previously paid for staff members to attend national competitions, but in 2021, the district had to cut funding for that.

Categories: Education News, Lancaster, News