27 February Middle School Students Compete in Poetry Slam February 27, 2013 By News News 0 OPS middle school students recently participated in the district's biannual Poetry Slam held at the Pizza Shoppe in downtown Benson. During the event, which is hosted by the Office of Gifted and Talented, nearly two-dozen students read two original poems, had an opportunity to visit with professional slam poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown and collaborated with team members to write a poem on site. Judges rated the students on original composition, physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic appropriateness and overall performance. Click here to see a photo slideshow from the event! Click here to read the students' poems. Related Articles Middle School Students Compete in Eiffel Tower Contest Thirteen middle school students participated in the first OPS Middle School French Eiffel Tower Contest held during National French Week in early November. First place was awarded to Sylvia Oh, a Beveridge Magnet seventh-grader; second place was awarded to Elena Tomasello, a Lewis & Clark seventh-grader; and third place was awarded to Carolina Hernandez, a Buffett Magnet eighth-grader. Click here to see a photo slideshow! Students, Staff, Schools Win Magnet Schools of America Awards Congratulations to the OPS magnet schools who won merit awards from the Magnet Schools of America (MSA) for the 2009-10 school year: Magnet Schools of America Merit Award of Excellence Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School Crestridge Elementary Magnet School MSA Merit Award of Distinction Catlin Elementary Magnet School Conestoga Elementary Magnet School King Science & Technology Magnet Middle School North High Magnet School R.M. Marrs Magnet Middle School Skinner Elementary Magnet School South High Magnet School Western Hills Elementary Magnet School MSA Principal of the Year – Region VII ReNae Kehrberg (Buffett Magnet Middle School) MSA Teacher of the Year – Region VII Lee Kallstrom (North High Magnet School) Congratulations to the students who participated in the MSA student poster contest: Skinner Magnet student Ameri-Grace Haorei - First Place in Region VII and first place nationally in the elementary competition. South High Magnet student Jesus Galvan – First Place in Region VII and third place nationally in the high school competition. And King Science & Technology Magnet student Morgan Hruska – First Place in Region VII in the middle school competition. OPS Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees 2017 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Andre Woolridge – Benson High School A 1992 Omaha Benson graduate, Woolridge scored a championship-game record 50 points to lead the Bunnies to the state title his senior year. He was All-Metro for three years and finished with 1,911 points, a Class A record. A four-year starter at Iowa, he led the Big 10 in scoring and assists his senior year and earned third-team All-American honors. He set the Iowa record for career assists. He played professionally in France, Italy, Turkey and Greece. Terry Eyman – Bryan High School Terry Robert Eyman was born in Omaha, Neb., on Aug. 19, 1968. He is the youngest of six siblings born to Robert and Anne Eyman. Eyman attended Chandler View Elementary School, Bryan Junior High School and graduated from William Jennings Bryan High School in 1986. During his high school years, he was an offensive and defensive lineman under the coaching guidance of Tim Bond. Terry received the Most Improved Player Award during his football years at Bryan High School. Following high school, Eyman attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After meeting with Coach Tom Osborne, he made the decision to join the Husker football program as a “walk-on,” and played the position of swing tackle during his years with the Huskers. Through hard work and perseverance, Terry was able to earn a scholarship and a starting position/rotation with the Huskers during his junior and senior years of college. Eyman graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a business degree in 1991. After graduation, he returned to Omaha, Neb., and joined the family business, Eyman Plumbing. He credits his business knowledge and experience to his work with various plumbing companies throughout the area. He is currently owner and CFO for Eyman Plumbing in Omaha. He lives in La Vista, with wife, Michelle Haynes, and their combined family of five children: Maddison, Nicholas, Benjamin, Robert and Waylon. Eyman enjoys coaching youth football, taking motorcycle rides, spending time with the family and, of course, watching football games at any level. Gary Graner – Burke High School Gary Graner grew up in the southwest Iowa town of Manning. He played football, basketball, and baseball and was awarded all-state basketball honors his senior year. After graduating from Manning High School in 1974, he played college basketball at the University of South Dakota from 1974-1978, graduating with a history degree and a high school teaching certificate and coaching endorsement in May of 1978. Coach Graner taught and coached at Omaha Burke High School for 33 years. When he joined Burke High School in the fall of 1978, Graner started as an assistant to John Johnette and assistant football coach to Larry Jacobsen. Upon the retirement of Coach Johnette in 1988, Coach Graner became Burke High School’s second head boys’ basketball coach holding that position for the next 18 years. In those 18 years, his teams qualified for the State Tournament eight times and finished as State Runners-up twice, 1993 and 2000. Burke High teams also won the Metro Holiday Tournament three times during his tenure. Ten of Coach Graner’s 18 teams finished the year in the OWH’s final state top ten rankings. In 1992, he was chosen to be the head coach for the Valentino’s NE All-Star team representing the state of Nebraska in the annual Las Vegas tournament and the following season was honored as the Metro Conference Coach of the Year. Coach Graner loved challenging his athletes to not only excel on the basketball court but also in the classroom and daily life. The teams he coached played an exciting brand of basketball, which brought the community out in force. That excitement and success generated by his teams’ hard-nosed play, along with the promotion of youth basketball through summer basketball camps and clinics, resulted in Coach Graner being honored with Burke High School’s Community Leader Award in 2000. Graner has always felt his reward for coaching has been the great fortune of being a part of the lives of so many wonderful student-athletes and working with dedicated coaches, staff, and administrators at Burke High School and throughout Omaha Public Schools. Coach Graner and his wife, Jessica, have been married forty-one years and all four of their children: Matt, Steve, Michelle, and Alli currently live in the Omaha area. Jessica Haynes - Central High School Jessica Haynes was born and raised in Omaha where she graduated from Central High School in 1985. A three-time all-state and three-time All-Metro player, Haynes helped Central to back-to-back basketball state championships in 1983 and 1984. In 1984, she averaged 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and her rebound and coast-to-coast drive for a layup sealed the state championship. She averaged 22 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game as a senior when she was a Parade All-American, Street and Smith’s All-American, Converse All-American, and Carnation Milk All-American. In track, she ran on three gold-medal relays helping Central to Class A titles in 1983 and 1984 and was also named High School All-American. Haynes attended San Diego State University where she was a three-year starter and a two-time All-Big West Conference selection averaging 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game during her career. She also played on two Olympic Festival teams in 86’ and 87. In 1997, Haynes was selected as a developmental player in the WNBA and assigned to the Utah Starzz. Haynes was inducted into the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and 2011. She was also inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Haynes is now a mental health therapist and travels the country as a motivational speaker. Haynes is the mother of three wonderful children; William, a celebrity hairstylist also known as Tokyo Stylez, Jerrica, a United States Postal Service employee and Hunter, a freshman at Millard North. Dave Underwood - North High School Dave Underwood graduated from Omaha North High School in 1962, where he lettered in basketball, baseball and was an All-City selection first baseman in baseball. He was a member of the Omaha Storz American Legion team that finished third in the nation in 1961. Underwood was not only a standout on the field but a great teacher and coach. He taught and coached in the Omaha Public Schools at Lewis and Clark Middle School, South and Burke High School. His coaching career included coaching football, basketball and baseball. As a baseball coach at Burke, his teams achieved State Championships three times between 1970 and 1975. During the summers, he ran baseball camps for youth in the Omaha area with Bill Olson of Northwest High School. Underwood is co-founder of the Collins-Orcutt All- Star game featuring the areas top baseball players each Spring. Underwood has had an impact on youth not just in sports but spiritually. He led a group called Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who met at his house once a week to discuss how they could become better people in the eyes of the Lord and be a positive influence to people around them. One of his player’s said quote, “meeting you, playing for you and being your friend has been one of the greatest honors in my life and I would not be the same person had that not happened.” After a short stint at IBM, Underwood returned to coaching as an assistant baseball coach at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He helped lead Nebraska to its first regional appearance attempting to secure a berth in the College World Series. After two years at Nebraska, he served one year as an assistant coach at Creighton University and was named head baseball coach the following year. As head coach, he was on the College World Series Board of Directors from 1981 to 1985. He was twice honored as a College Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983. He helped lead Creighton to its first ever ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine. In 2013, Underwood was named to the Omaha Old-timers Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. In 1986, Underwood co-founded The Real Estate Brokerage Firm with a former player and Hall of Fame member, Tim Wurth. The company has been in business for 31 years and is a multi-faceted commercial real estate firm. In 2005, Underwood co-founded a new company called Heritage Communities to develop, build and manage care facilities for seniors. Underwood and his wife, Marilyn, live in Omaha, have five children are the proud grandparents of 12 grandchildren. Mikaela Perry-Grimes – Northwest High School Mikaela Perry-Grimes was born in Omaha, Neb., and is the daughter of longtime Omaha Public Schools (OPS) employees Doris and Otis Perry II. She attended Springville Elementary, Nathan Hale Junior High and Northwest High schools. Grimes excelled both academically and athletically. In high school she was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in cheerleading, basketball and track and field. Following in her brothers’ (Mark and Otis III, who were stellar athletes in their own right) footsteps, she was a state champion in track and still holds the number three time in the 200 meters and the top time in the 100 meters on the Nebraska Girls All-Time Track Chart. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she was one of the first African-American cheerleaders that the school had ever had and was a member of the then, Big 8 Conference Championship track team. Completing her track career at the University of Alabama, she also hit another milestone as one of the first African-Americans elected to the school’s homecoming court before graduating with her bachelor’s degree. She competed for both the Midwest Striders and Cornhusker Flyer Youth Track Clubs. During her track career, Grimes won several awards, but her proudest moment was competing for the USA Junior team at the Pan-Am Junior Games where she ran the second leg on a 4x1 that not only won, but broke the World Junior Record. Today, Grimes lives in Nashville, Tenn. and is a Human Resource Administrator and co-chair for the Nashville Diversity and Inclusion Chapter at T-Mobile. In her spare time, she coaches for the Training Ground Youth Track Club, where several of her athletes have reached All-American status. She is married to Reggie Grimes and has 3 children: Maya,19; Reggie,15 and Reghan,13. All three are following in her footsteps. Reghan is a city middle school track champion, a two-time youth track All-American and MVP of her Middle School’s volleyball and basketball teams. Reggie is a county track champion, made the TSSAA State Track Meet as a freshman and was voted Offensive MVP for his high school football team. Maya was a two-time TSSAA state champion, High school All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Freshman of the Year competing for Austin Peay State University. Terrance Badgett - South High School Terrance Badgett started playing basketball in the fifth grade at Belvedere Elementary. A guy by the name of Jonathan Culver Sr. gave Badgett advice. He said “you can be great, if you practice.” Badgett took his advice and became a successful student and professional athlete. Badgett attended R. M. Marrs Magnet middle school where he played as a seventh grader and averaged 34.4 points a game. In high school, Badgett was an All-American all four years. He was a two-time all-state player and led the South High Packers to the Class A state championship in 1990 and averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game the following year. During his senior year he earned honors as the Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year. Badgett was a Nebraska Cornhusker recruit and made the Big Eight All-Bench team, won the Big eight tournament and the National Invitational Tournament. As a Husker, he played in 127 games and scored more than 200 points each season, finishing with a career total of 953. Badgett played professionally for five seasons in the U.S. and overseas in Taiwan, Ireland, Germany and the Philippines. Back in the United States, Badgett played for Sioux Falls Sky-force, Wisconsin Blast, San Diego Wildfire and the Kansas City Knights. In 2003, Badgett returned to Omaha from Sacramento and worked at Omaha Home for Boys for eight years. He received his master’s degree in Human Services in 2005 at Bellevue University and began working as Executive Director for the YMCA. In 2012, Badgett started a new career at the Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands. Today, Badgett continues to invest his time in other non-profit work for the homeless and mental health services for youth. He now works for the Heartland Behavioral School of Omaha. Badgett has one daughter, Camryn Joy Badgett. Thomas Warren - Technical High School Thomas Warren graduated from Omaha Technical High School in 1979. He earned a football scholarship to Morningside College where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and sociology and a minor in psychology. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1989 in criminal justice with an option in public administration. While at Technical High School, Warren earned eight varsity letters: three in football, three in track and two in basketball. In football, he ran for 700 yards, eight touchdowns and had 36 tackles against opposing teams and was a Metropolitan Conference Runner-up in 1977. In basketball, his team were Metropolitan Conference Champions in 1978 and Holiday Tournament Champions in 1979. His track team were District Champions in the 4 x 200-yard relay. At Morningside College, Warren was a four-year starter as defensive back and his team were the All North Central Conference Second Team in 1982 and he was honored as the North Central Conference Defensive Player of the Week. His team also defeated the University of Nebraska at Omaha 3-0 after Warren forced a fumble that led to the game’s only score. After graduation, Warren served on the Omaha Police force from 1983-2008 and was the first African-American in Omaha to serve as Chief of Police from 2004-2008. Warren also won the World Police and Fire Olympic Gold Medal in 1983 in weightlifting for his class. Today, Warren serves as President/Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Nebraska. James Lund - Middle Schools James Lund was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from Omaha North High School in 1970. He attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he received a bachelor’s degree in education. While attending UNO as an undergraduate, he was a member of the men’s basketball and golf team. While in college, James met his wife, Marlene and they married in September of 1974. They’ve been married for 43 years and raised four children, Eddie, Julie, Andy, and Dan. After teaching, coaching and being a dad to four little ones, Lund returned to UNO and completed his master’s degree in 1989. Participating in college athletics influenced Lund’s decision to make teaching and coaching a career. Lund began his teaching and coaching career at Martin Luther King School. He taught at King from the fall of 1976 to the spring of 1984. In the fall of 1984, he transferred to Morton Middle School where he finished his career with OPS. At both schools, Lund coached girls’ and boys’ basketball, football, wrestling, soccer, swimming and gymnastics. Basketball was his favorite sport of all, in which he coached over 55 boys and girls teams during his time with OPS. In order for more students to participate in sports, he also sponsored intramural units at Morton. During his tenure at Morton, Lund coached against each one of his children, while they attended rival schools. Lund’s philosophy of coaching was to emphasize sportsmanship, skill development and team work. The strategies he employed were done to help players improve their skills rather than just win games. Over the thirty-one years he coached, he was privileged to work with many student athletes who went on to participate in high school and college athletics. Throughout the years, Lund participated in men’s basketball leagues and golf tournaments. He also enjoyed coaching his children and now grandchildren through outside youth organizations. Retirement offers Lund extra time to be more involved with his six grandchildren. When he is not being Papa, he enjoys golfing, cycling and traveling. Community Contributors Jim Fuxa Jim Fuxa attended Ashland Park Elementary and graduated from South High School in 1960. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha University on athletic scholarships and graduated with and bachelor’s degree in education in 1965. He worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota at Mankato and obtained his master’s degree in education in 1971. At South High School, Fuxa wrestled and had an undefeated dual meet season in his sophomore and senior years. He was undefeated in district and state championships his senior year in high school and in two seasons at Omaha University, he had a dual meet record of 18-1. During Fuxa’s junior year in high school, he started coaching wrestling at the South YMCA and was paid ten cents per student, per session. His teams won five consecutive state YMCA championships. Later, he took part in road races and duathlons. He won over 200 medals and trophies during the 80s and 90s in those events. Fuxa competed for the USA Duathlon team and placed sixth in his age group in the 1993 world championships in Dallas. Even later in life, he participated in the Senior Winter Games in Summit County, Colo., winning numerous first place medals in Nordic skiing, snow shoe racing and the biathlon (shooting and Nordic skiing). Fuxa was employed by the Omaha Public Schools for 31 years. From 1967-1970, he coached football, wrestling, gymnastics and track and field at Lewis & Clark Middle School. In his third and final year at the junior high school, his teams won city championships in football, wrestling and track and field. After graduating from Mankato in 1972, he was hired as an administrator in Physical Education and Athletics in the Omaha Public Schools (OPS). During his tenure, he revised the playground apparatus policy for OPS regarding play and safety. Fuxa also suggested to a staff member at Sunny Slope a way to get a plan period for the elementary classroom teachers. He approached the Omaha Education Association with the idea that teachers receive plan time while traveling specialists were with their students. He also guided several teachers in the development of the curriculum guide called the “War on Weight.” In 1993, Fuxa proposed to the leadership of the JROTC program in OPS schools that they initiate a biathlon at the high school level, which included running and shooting. It has been an annual event ever since. Near the end of his career with OPS, he volunteered to coach wrestling at Beveridge Middle School where he coached from 1995-1997. His final year, his team won the city wrestling championship. Those same wrestlers, along with members of Morton’s team moved on to Burke High School where they won Burke’s first and only state wrestling championship. Fuxa coached two different youth soccer teams to state cup championships in 1985 and 1986. He became a wrestling official in 1967 and officiated many tournaments, including the Nebraska high school championships. In his final year of officiating, he worked the Big 8 Tournament in Stillwater, Okla. As a member of the Greater Omaha Sports Committee (GOSC) within the Omaha Convention and Tourism Bureau, Fuxa started perhaps the first high school scholar-athlete awards program in the county. The program continues today, forty years later. Also as a member of the GOSC, he helped set up the Big 8 Volleyball Tournament and clinics. These clinics were held at Omaha South during the Big 8 Tournament for girls from the four-state area surrounding Omaha. Fuxa also served on the Nebraska Winter Games committee in the mid-90s. One of his responsibilities was the food service for over 4,000 people at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. He still practices what he preached many year ago working out almost daily. He enjoys archery, cycling, hunting, hiking and has recently taken up pickle ball. Fuxa has two children: Nikki Mildren and Cory Fuxa, who reside in Fort Worth, Texas with their families. There are four grandchildren ranging in age from seven to 18. Jim is married to wife, Roxanne Smith, and they reside in Colorado Springs, Colo. Stu Pospisil Stu Pospisil is an Omaha World-Herald sportswriter and third-generation OPS graduate who has covered high school sports for the newspaper since 1984. He is currently the newspaper’s prep sports coordinator. He attended Fontenelle Elementary and Monroe Junior High before graduating from Benson High in 1980. At Benson, he was involved in National Honor Society, journalism, music and the math and metric clubs. He was team statistician for football, boys basketball and baseball. His professional career began in 1981 with the Sun Newspapers of Omaha while a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He joined the World-Herald in June 1984 and completed his degree at UNL that year. After five years as the Metro Conference beat writer, Pospisil became the statewide prep rater in 1990. He has become regarded as the leading prep authority and historian in the state. He assisted the Metro Conference in assembling its records during its golden anniversary season in 2014-15, which resulted in every school receiving a large plaque to commemorate its conference championship. Pospisil also has chronicled Nebraska golf on all levels for the past 30 years, including the 2013 U.S. Senior Open and the 1996 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the Cox Classic, the Masters and PGA Championships and countless state and local events. Since 1988, he has been the director of The World-Herald match play championship for Omaha-area golfers. He co-founded the revival of the men’s city golf championship in 1998. He has been a contributor to Sports Illustrated, Golf Journal and Gold World. He has been honored by the Nebraska School Activities Association, Nebraska Coaches Association, Nebraska State Athletic Administrators Association, Nebraska PGA and the Metro Omaha Golf Championship. He has received the Nebraska Gold Hall of Fame’s Davis Special Recognition Award and has been inducted into the Benson High Hall of Fame and Burke High Swimming Hall of Fame. Pospisil is married to the former Sherry Fischer of Scribner, Neb. They have seven-year-old twin sons, Adam and Kyle. Legislative Updates Feb. 14, 2017 Dear community members: There are a number of bills that have been introduced at the Nebraska Legislature this session that would impact our school district. Many of these bills are already being discussed at the committee level. It will be important for you to pay attention to these discussions as they unfold. The Omaha Public Schools Board opposes any legislative effort to divert resources to educational programs that are not governed by publicly-elected boards who are accountable to the citizens for the use of their tax dollars. Below is an outline of just a few examples of key bills that could impact OPS. The OPS board opposes each of the following: LB 630 - The Independent Public Schools Act – This bill would allow for charter schools in Nebraska. Charter schools would receive state aid and the public school system would be required to transport students living within their boundaries. LB 662 – Establish a grading system for schools and school districts – This bill would require the state board of education to create an accountability system that would grade schools’ performance A-F based on: (1) student proficient on statewide tests (2) percent of students that make growth in proficiency in reading and math (3) percent of students that make growth in proficiency for the lowest performing 25 percent of students in a particular school in math and reading (4) high school students earning a diploma in 4 years. LB 608 - Parental choice Scholarship Program -This bill would require OPS to pay 75 percent of the anticipated revenue per student to a private school for any eligible student. Eligible students would be k-12 students living in the boundaries of any OPS school at the lowest performance level. OPS would also be required to transport eligible students to private schools. The remaining 25 percent of anticipated revenue per student would go into a property tax relief fund to lower property taxes the following school year. There are numerous other bills that would change some aspect of the state aid formula. Some of the changes proposed in some of these bills could negatively impact OPS’ revenue stream in the years to come. The below outline presents the position that has been taken by our Board of Education for each bill included. For the most recent information regarding currently active bills at the unicameral, please visit:http://nebraskalegislature.gov OSERS The Board of Education of the Omaha Public Schools hereby reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the long term stability of the Omaha School Employees' Retirement System (OSERS). We support the efforts of the Nebraska Legislature to harmonize OSERS with the Nebraska School Employees Retirement System. LB 548 – Merge OSERS with School Employees Retirement System This bill would consolidate the Omaha School Employees Retirement System (OSERS) and the Nebraska School Employee Retirement System (NSERS). OSERS is currently experiencing a declining investments balance. The bill would present a resolution to reverse that trend. The bill does not affect current or retired employees’ benefits under the plan. OPS Board supports. Students LB 595 - Use of Physical Force or Restraint in Response to Student Behavior This bill would allow a teacher or administrator to use necessary physical force or restraint to subdue a student who is physically violent toward himself, those around him or is destructive toward school property until the student no longer presents a danger. Teachers would be allowed to remove a student from their classroom if student repeatedly disrupts a teacher’s ability to effectively teach. Teachers and administrators would not be subject to legal action or administrative discipline. OPS Board will monitor. Parent Education Funding LB 295 – Opportunity Scholarship Act This bill creates a scholarship granting organization that provides scholarships for tuition and fees for students at nongovernmental, private elementary and secondary schools. OPS Board opposes. LB 608 - Parental choice Scholarship Program This bill would require OPS to pay 75 percent of the anticipated revenue per student to a private school for any eligible student. Eligible students would be k-12 students living in the boundaries of any OPS school at the lowest performance level. OPS would also be required to transport eligible students to private schools. The remaining 25 percent of anticipated revenue per student would go into a property tax relief fund to lower property taxes the following school year. OPS Board opposes. School Funding The Board of Education of the Omaha Public Schools hereby reaffirms its support for the following key principles regarding the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunity Support Act (TEEOSA). The Board supports the efforts of the legislature, through TEEOSA, to equalize resources to ensure educational opportunity for all students across the state. Within the formula, the Board especially supports additional funding for children in poverty, English Language Learners, and early childhood education; additional weighting for focus schools; funding for transportation; and the averaging adjustment. The Board opposes changes to TEEOSA that are disequalizing. The Board wishes to emphasize that one of the initial objectives of TEOSA was to provide a stable, predictable system by which school districts could reasonably project, plan and budget for their annual state aid allocation. As such, the Board opposes annual modifications to TEEOSA that are designed to minimize increases or even reduce the level of state funding. The Board supports continued strong funding for Special Education. The Board supports consideration by the legislature of a mechanism to provide for equalization of facility renovation and construction among school districts. LB 119 – Delay Certification Date for TEEOSA This bill would delay the certification date for TEEOSA (the Nebraska school funding formula) from March 1, 2017 to June 1, 2017. OPS Board opposes. LB 144 – Reduced Percentage of Valuation of Agricultural Land This bill would adjust the percentage of land valuation of agricultural land for the purposes of the TEEOSA (the Nebraska school funding) formula. The percentage would drop from 72 percent in 2017 to 50 percent in 2018; 40 percent in 2019, 30 percent in 2020 and 20 percent for all years thereafter. OPS Board opposes. LB 265 – TEEOSA: Foundation AID This bill would provide that each school get a minimum amount of state aid per student. In fiscal year 2018-19 it would be $1,500 per student, $2,500 per student in 2019-2010, $3,500 per student in 2020-2021, $4,500 per student in 2021-2022 and $5,500 per student in 2022-2023 and after. OPS Board opposes. LB 266 – Agricultural Land Valuation This bill would reduce the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land for purposes of property tax to 50 percent in 2018, 40 percent in 2019, 30 percent in 2020 and after. The acceptable range to be used for school district taxation would be 44 percent to 50 percent in 2018, 34 percent to 40 percent in 2010 and 24 percent to 30 percent in 2020. OPS Board opposes. LB 270 – Expanded learning Opportunity Grant Program Act This bill would set aside $750,000 for the fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 to the Department of Education to carry out the Expanded Learning Opportunity Grant Program. OPS Board supports. LB 338 – Income Approach Valuation of Agricultural Land This bill would require that agricultural and horticultural land be valued for property tax purposes at its value of use. The Property Tax Administrator would establish capitalization rates to be applied to agricultural land. The capitalization rates would be set aggregated agricultural use values, based on different types of agricultural land, between 60 to 75 percent of actual value. The aggregate agricultural use value could not increase more than 3 ½ percent from prior year. OPS Board opposes. LB 409 – TEEOSA: Reduce Base Limitation This would reduce the budget limitation rate from 2 1/2 percent to zero percent for fiscal year 2017-18 and 2018-19. OPS board opposes. LB 510 – Installment Contracts This bill would limit any political subdivision from having a total outstanding obligation under installment contracts to exceed $25 million. OPS Board opposes. LB 521 – TEEOSA Early Childhood Education This bill would increase the early childhood education fall membership included in the TEEOSA (state education funding) formula from 60 percent to 80 percent. Would also include calculation for early childhood transportation costs in TEEOSA. OPS Board supports. LB 540 – TEEOSA: Temporary Aid Adjustment This bill would add a temporary aid adjustment to schools fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19. The adjustments would be equal to a percentage of the formula need of each school district. The goal is to implement a reduction in TEEOSA to assist with state’s budget crisis without making significant and long-term changes to TEEOSA formula. OPS Board supports. LB 571 TEEOSA: Allocated Income Tax This bill would remove the minimum levy adjustment from the definition of allocated income tax funds. It would provide 20 percent of the aggregate statewide income tax liability of all resident individuals be disbursed as option payments. OPS Board opposes. LB 572 – Termination of TEEOSA This bill would terminate TEEOSA effective Jan. 1, 2020. It would terminate the property tax credit act and Nebraska Advantage Act on the same date. OPS Board opposes. LB 576 - No Growth in Property Taxes This bill would keep an owner’s property tax bill for 2017 and 2018 at no higher than their tax bill for 2016. OPS Board opposes. LB 602 – Valuation of Agricultural Land This bill would value agricultural and horticultural land using the capitalized net earning approach to determine the value of the land for purposes of taxation. Capitalization rate would be set at 6 percent. OPS Board opposes. LB 640- Limitation of School Levy This bill would reduce the maximum levy for districts from $1.05 to $1.00. Funds from the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund for districts would be distributed when the general fund property tax receipts exceed 60 percent of the total general fund revenue. The cash fund would be increased each year at the same rate of increase to TEEOSA. OPS Board opposes. Schools/Programs The Omaha Public Schools Board opposes any legislative effort to divert resources to educational programs that are not governed by publicly-elected boards who are accountable to the citizens for the use of their tax dollars. LB 630 - The Independent Public Schools Act This bill would allow for charter schools in Nebraska. Charter schools would receive state aid and public school would be required to transport students living within their boundaries. OPS Board opposes. LB 634 – Virtual Schools This bill would provide a definition of virtual schools. Virtual school students would then be included in the TEEOSA calculation. OPS Board supports. Teachers LB 525 – Master Teacher Program Fund This bill would decrease the amount of lottery dollars going to the Education Innovation Grant Program from 17 percent to 16 percent. It would redirect that 1 percent decrease to the Master Teacher Program Fund. OPS Board will monitor. LB 568- Temporary Teaching Certificates This bill would allow for temporary teaching certificates. Applicants would have complete an application and pay a fee. Applicants would be required to be over 21, possess a high school diploma, complete 24 hours of in-service training, 10 hours of classroom observation, complete a course and pass an exam on the Constitution of the United States and Constitution of Nebraska with score a of 80 percent or higher. OPS Board opposes. LB 650 – Alternative Certification for Teachers This bill would allow the State Board of Education to grant teaching certificates to any person based on their college credits earned, to someone holding a doctoral degree, anyone with a valid teaching certificate in another state, to anyone with two years teaching experience at the postsecondary level or to anyone with a certificate issued by national or regional educator credentialing agency as long as they pass the appropriate subject area examination. This bill would also allow for adjunct teaching certificates to be issued for part-time teaching positions. OPS Board will monitor. Transportation LB 279 – Lap-Shoulder Belts on School Buses This bill would require school buses purchased on or after date law went in to affect to be equipped with lap-shoulder belts for each passenger. OPS Board will monitor. Other LB 662 – Establish a Grading System for schools and School Districts This bill would require the state board of education to create an accountability system that would grade schools’ performance A-F based on: (1) student proficient on statewide tests (2) percent of students that make growth in proficiency in reading and math (3) percent of students that make growth in proficiency for the lowest performing 25 percent of students in a particular school in math and reading (4) high school students earning a diploma in 4 years. OPS Board opposes. Belle Ryan Summer School Students Compete in Olympic-Style Field Day Belle Ryan Elementary summer school and Summer Library Program students became Olympic athletes during the school's Olympic-themed Field Day. The events included Ireland's Potato Race, Greece's Olympic Torch Relay, Jamaica's Javelin Throw, Portugal's Popcorn Machine, Honduras' Hula Hooping and France's Flipping Flapjacks. The summer school theme this year was "Go for the Gold" and Field Day was the culminating activity after students studied and wrote about the history of the Olympic Games. Click here to see a photo slideshow of the event! Five Marrs Magnet Middle School Students Inducted into Gomez Heritage Elementary's 100% Club Congratulations to the Marrs Magnet Middle School fifth-graders who are the first students to be inducted into Gomez Heritage Elementary’s 100% Club for achieving a perfect score on one or more of the 2012-2013 NeSA test(s). Comments are closed.