Proposed LPS budget aims to fund new sports, better pay

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) — During the pandemic, Lincoln Public Schools hasn’t seen much in the way of new money. But with his upcoming budget, that may change.

LPS said it is making it a point to invest in students and staff and it is also possible that schools may see new athletics.

The 2022-2023 budget has been in the works since February and comes in at a little less than $500 million. The LPS said the focus was on employee salaries and improved benefits, as well as funding three new sports, including boys’ and girls’ bowling, as well as girls’ wrestling.

Cathy Denek, chairman of the district’s education finance committee, said last year she was approached about adding those sports at the high school level.

Denek said, “Having not had time to make those adjustments and we told them we would work, we made some thoughtful movements within our budget so we could keep those things for the students.”

This year, the board has set aside about $341,000 to bring these games to all seven high schools. Plus, business affairs superintendent Liz Standish said with revenue now coming back to the district, it’s in a better place to deal with the ongoing labor shortage.

“There was a significant commitment and most of the increase has been in pay and benefits,” Standish said. “A significant portion of this budget focused on opening new schools, this fall we opened both Lincoln Northwest and Robinson Elementary Schools.”

As far as the proposed property taxes are concerned, homeowners can see a tax levy of more than one-third.

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“We only spend what we need,” Denek said. “We never spend more than we need. Therefore, we generally review the needs of students and staff and try to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of students and staff from taxpayers. are saying.”