School May Lose Nearly $800,000 In State Aid

Although it won’t be easy, Dr. Melissa Wheelock, Superintendent of Minden Public Schools, is confident that the school district can survive a possible cut in state aid of nearly eight hundred thousand dollar if LB 235 passes.
LB235, introduced by Senator Greg Adams of  York, proposes to save more than $200 million per year from the way the state distributes TEEOSA (Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act) funds, but as a direct result, 95 of the 251 school districts will receive no state aid next year.
Dire news for school districts in a struggling economy.
Lawmakers advanced LB 235 from second-round debate on Wednesday. The bill faces one more round of consideration.  If certified, the bill would cut the distribution of the $950 million of state aid to Nebraska’s 251 public schools to $822 million in 2011-2012 and $880 million in 2012-2013.
Using the current formula, Minden Public Schools received $923,594.91 last year in state aid.  
If LB235 reaches certification in July, Minden Public Schools state aid will be cut to $153,058.63.
This is a loss in state aid totaling $770,536.28.
Dr. Wheelock has been preparing the Minden Public Schools for this anticipated event for the past two years, heeding the warnings from the state.
“They told us two years ago that there was going to be a cliff-effect with the economy,”  said Wheelock.  “We’ve been trying to tighten our belts the last couple of years and reducing expenses in preparation.  I think our staff has been very cognizant of that and they understand that we’re all in this together. We’ll be able to get through, but it still won’t be easy. They’re asking districts to tax at $1.0395 instead of $1. The state is expecting more from the local effort than they have in the past.”

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