Wednesday, July 23, 2014
   
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State aid for Dist. 20 drops 16.8%; Brady’s share soars

Communities with financial resources are expected to support their schools under Nebraska’s state aid formula.

As a result, District 20 will see $543,694 less in state aid dollars which wasn’t a surprise to superintendent Dr. Mike Teahon.

“We thought it would happen last year and we’ve been planning for it for the last two years,” Teahon said. “The state aid formula has worked for us in the past several years and it can’t always work for us every year.”

For the past several years, Gothenburg’s valuation has continued to climb. Valuation increased $498,056, to $534,572,464 in 2012 which—using the formula—shows that Gothenburg can provide for its school through property taxes.

As a result, the school district will receive $2,692,470 in state aid in 2013-14 compared to $3,236,164 in 2012-13.

Teahon said there won’t be any immediate changes in the district since school officials budgeted for fewer state aid dollars two years ago.

Brady Public Schools superintendent Bill Porter didn’t expect the $346,554 boost or 84.8% increase in state aid his district will receive.

The district will add $755,340 state aid dollars to its general fund compared to $408,786 last year.

Porter said increased enrollment was the biggest factor in the allocation plus a gap between what the school district needs to provide education and the resources it has.

Because of changes in the state aid formula, Teahon said most of the state’s midsize districts experienced decreases in state funding.

“It’s difficult to come up with a formula that meets the needs of everyone,” Teahon said. “And anyone’s concept of state funding is based on their own perception.”

School finance will be studied during the interim by Nebraska legislators. Teahon is part of a group of educators who are researching and looking at other ways to fund state aid, including how it’s figured and provided in other states.

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