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Proposed Omaha Public Schools budget offers increased teacher salaries and slight tax levy decrease

Posted at 6:21 AM, Sep 09, 2022

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) — The proposed budget was reviewed at Thursday night’s school board meeting with the budget calling for an increase in general funds to the tune of $20 million dollars.

“The proposed budget is focused on investing in the future of our students, staff and the district overall. Funding is included for key initiatives for the district's strategic plan of action as well as programs focused on student learning and growth,” said Shane Rhian, Chief Financial Officer for Omaha Public Schools (OPS).

Much of that budget increase is being focused on staff salaries in an effort to maintain staff across the district.

OPS expects an 8% increase in spending on salaries and benefits and an 18% increase in contracted services.

In total, staff salaries and benefits will account for around 78% of the total 2022-23 budget.

“District staff truly are our most valuable resource, over 89% of our staff throughout the district are classroom and student-facing,” said Rhian.

While the budget could be going up for OPS, the tax levy that goes along with the budget could be going down.

Currently, the OPS tax levy is $1.233 dollars per $100 dollars of assessed property value, the new budget would see a slight decrease of .002 cents bringing it down to 1.231 per $100 dollars of assessed property value.

“We are always looking towards the future. The earlier issues can be identified the longer period of time we will have to address them. Planning for the future will ensure the district will have the necessary resources to serve our students, staff and community,” said Rhian.

Thursday’s presentation was just an initial hearing on the budget and the board will have its joint budget hearing on September 22nd and will vote on whether or not to adopt the budget on September 23rd.

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