Kearney Public Schools Board reviewing Unicameral bills that could impact education

Kearney Public Schools Board reviewing Unicameral bills that could impact education

KEARNEY, Neb. – (KGFW)┬áSuperintendent Dr. Kent Edwards reported on the recent activity in the Nebraska Unicameral at Monday night’s school board meeting with bills that related to education including LB 103 and LB 589.

LB 589 proposed by Senator Ernie Chambers has already been given opposition according to Dr. Edwards.

“Senator Chambers has submitted LB 589, this would prohibit peace officers from serving as school resource officers and obviously we would be opposed to that. The city of Kearney and Chief Bryan Waugh sent me a letter opposing that and got a great response from Senator John Lowe saying that he would oppose it if it moved forward.”

Board member Jon Watts gave his economic input involving the issues that LB 103 could present including how it could change the way Kearney Public Schools builds up its cash reserve fund.

“So the idea is as valuation grows, meaning no district can grow no more than 2-3.5%. The reality is that no district can save. This district has invested close to 20 million dollars just in the last three to four years in renovations of 30-50 year old facilities. That wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have the ability to levy just a little more than we need each year to put away to a building fund. It frustrates me to see school boards getting chip shots from the legislature.”

Watts also looked at a bigger issue that the legislature has yet to address.

“No where in the legislation does it talk about fixing the problem. Which is as valuation grows, we lose state aid. We will lose because Kearney is a growing and thriving community. So as Kearney grows and valuations grow, we get a kick from the state and then they criticize us for how much money we’re spending.”

As bills gain headway in the state legislature, the Kearney Public Schools board will keep a watchful on what actions may need to be taken going forward in the year. The Kearney Public Schools board meets every second Monday of the month at Sunrise Middle School