Gov. Heineman Calls for Education Funding Reform
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is traveling across the state to discuss his controversial tax reform plan. One of the main parts of his plan focuses on education funding.
Heineman says the state-aid formula is a mess and needs a revamp to help schools plan ahead. Monday he met with the Kearney noon rotary members to discuss his proposal that would slash the state income and corporate taxes.
Heineman pointed out that education funding needs to take priority this session.
"We need a system that gives us predictability and stability. I'd much prefer a system where the superintendents knew every year that it was going to grow every year by 3-to-5 percent -- they can live with that," said Heineman.
Kearney Public Schools agrees. They say the troubles of having a system that's so un-predictable can affect their growth.
"The actual amount of money that we receive for students -- we've had four straight years where we received less money per student. And so while we were growing it was being off-set with receiving less money per state-aid for a growing school district like us, to see these decreases in funding per student, it really off-sets our growth," said KPS Finance Director Chris Nelson.
One of the many state tax exemptions is school lunches but Gov. Heineman says that is not on the table to be cut.
Another interesting note is that York Sen. Greg Adams is now the speaker of the legislature. He was the former education chairman so it looks like the state-aid formula will see some action this session.