Leading Nebraska senator unveils new school funding proposal

November 18, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker who leads the Legislature’s Education Committee unveiled a new proposal Thursday intended to provide more sustainable and predictable funding for K-12 public schools while lowering property taxes.

Sen. Lynne Walz, of Fremont, said the measure would help stabilize the funding that schools get each year and ease their reliance on property taxes. The plan was developed in conjunction with Colubmus school officials and various public school associations, although its prospects in the Legislature are unclear.

The plan would require an additional $715 million in state funding each year. It would then lower school district tax levies and reduce the amount of money that schools have to generate locally to cover their costs.

The number of schools that receive state equalization aid would increase from 87 to 148, addressing a common complaint from many rural schools that currently don’t get that aid.