OPS approves $710M budget for 2022-2023

A feel-good part of the meeting came with the presentation of the winners of the district’s Summer Reading Challenge.
The largest school district in Nebraska has a budget to match.
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:33 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Omaha Public Schools board meeting lasted barely an hour, even with a short break to research a parliamentary question, as the main business at hand had been hashed out over recent months. By a margin of 6-0, with three members absent, Nebraska’s largest school district approved a $710 million dollar budget for the coming school year.

“Tonight’s the culmination of a monthslong process with many, many hours of hard work by the staff here at OPS to craft a budget,” district chief financial officer Shane Rhian said.

Rhian presented the budget in great detail on September 8, and that information has been online for public inspection since. There was no voiced opposition from the small gallery in attendance at the OPS Teacher Administration Center.

The budget is increased by $20 million, up from $690 million to $710 million.

Rhian said most of the school’s budget goes to staff and teachers, 78%, in fact, for 2022-2023. That includes an 8% increase in staff salaries and benefits. There is also a small decrease in the district tax levy.

“The proposed budget lowers our tax levy once again, as we have six of the past ten years,” OPS superintendent Dr. Cheryl Logan said. “Financial accountability is a core priority of our strategic plan of action, budget development is a year-long process and it includes five-year projections as Mr. Rhian presented on September 8.”

A feel-good part of the meeting came with the presentation of the winners of the district’s Summer Reading Challenge. Students from Edison Elementary amassed 336,374 minutes of summer reading, doubling their nearest competitors. They shared a healthy round of congratulatory fist bumps from the board.