- Bryan Middle
Proposed Budget Invests in Students, Staff and Facilities
During the first of three public presentations this month, Omaha Public Schools presented its proposed budget for the 2022-23 school year.
The hearing is the first step in approving our district’s proposed budget. The proposal reflects continued investments in our students, staff, infrastructure and facilities.
“It’s a very fiscally responsible budget for where we are as a district,” said Shane Rhian, Omaha Public Schools' chief financial officer. “The proposed budget effectively balances the needs of our students and staff.”
Key initiatives of the budget proposal tied to our Strategic Plan of Action include:
- Student Supports for Academic Recovery: $77.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant funds are earmarked for Academic Recovery activities
- Staff Retention and Recruitment: Raises for existing staff, salary and benefits for four new schools, retirement system transition, and stipends for student teachers
- Infrastructure Needs: Classroom, student and infrastructure technology
- Facilities: Increase in Special Building Fund levy to provide additional funds for facilities maintenance and improvements
The proposed budget reflects an increase in general fund expenses and a projected increase in general fund revenue over last school year.
“Building a responsible and effective budget is about maintaining balance and ensuring proposed spending is in line with expected revenues,” Rhian explained.
The reason for the projected revenue increase is due, in part, to an increase in certified valuations from Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Property taxes account for more than a third of our district’s total revenue. Other funding sources include state aid, cash reserves, federal funding and miscellaneous state and local resources.
Omaha Public Schools also plans to lower its property tax levy for the third consecutive year. Our district has reduced its levy in six of the last ten years.
“This history shows the district has been responsible with its tax asking over the last ten years,” said Rhian.
The proposed budget moves on to a Douglas County Joint Budget Hearing on Sept. 21, followed by the anticipated budget adoption at the Sept. 22 Board of Education meeting.
A comprehensive overview of the proposed 2022-23 budget is available on our website.