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Budget Time

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LCC Board gets a look at new budget

LAUREL — The Laurel-Concord- Coleridge School Board met for the last time this fiscal year to approve any year-end bills and discuss a preliminary budget.

The board will meet again at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 11, at the middle school campus in Coleridge for the formal budget hearing and hearing to set the final tax request.

A significant impact to this year’s budget is the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act formula for state aid to Nebraska’s public schools passed this past legislative session.

The new law directs the state to pay public school districts $1,500 in foundation aid per student beginning with school fiscal year 2023-24.

LCC would have received an estimated $89,793 under the old formula. The new formula adds another $572,000 in state aid to the school’s coffers for total state aid of more than $660,000.

The law also requires the state Department of Education to reimburse each school district 80 percent of the total allowable excess costs for all special education programs and support services.

In total, the state will direct approximately $300 million per year in additional funding to K-12 public schools.

The purpose of this legislation, Gov. Jim Pillen said upon signing it, is to increase the state’s investment in education and reduce schools’ reliance on property taxes.

The school district’s budget will also be impacted by significant increases in valuations in Cedar, Dixon and Wayne counties - a 17 percent increase in Dixon, 10 percent in Wayne and 8 percent in Cedar.