Letter to the Editor

LB658 is a sham

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dear Editor,

The Legislature adopted a long and ponderous process May 1 to establish a Class I school. (LB 658)

If that bill stands as the answer to the 2006 statewide referendum and repeal of the law that dissolved the 200 Class I districts, it is a sham.

It kills local elementary education and grassroots influence of education for which Nebraska is noted and respected. And, it scoffs at the voters.

As Sen. Tom White of Omaha said during debate, about the referendum vote: "It's not very complicated. The Legislature dissolved Class I districts. The voters repealed that law. They wanted to reverse what the Legislature did."

Under LB658, here is what will be required to create a Class I school. A person or group must:

* Envision and delineate a Class I "area" that is entirely within a K-12 district (which eliminates the possibility for 48 percent of former Class Is that are affiliated with more than one K-12 district.).

* In writing, plan the proposed district, students, facilities, staff, budget and a method to separate assets and liabilities from the larger district.

* File the plan with the committee for the reorganization of schools at the Nebraska Department of Education, and get that committee's approval.

* Get signatures of 50 percent of registered voters of the proposed Class I school area and 10 percent of voters in the entire K-12 district.

* Wait for the next primary or general election.

* Gain majority approval from K-12 district voters during that election.

* Wait until the following July 1 to establish the Class I school.

George Lauby

Nebraskans for Local Schools


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