A newly elected member to the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties wants to know where the money is going. Tonya Ward says she basically doesn’t know why the Learning Community exists.
Ward says, “I would like to find out where the money is going. How has the money been spent since it started? Why hasn’t it impacted the classrooms in a more positive way? Some districts like Bellevue reported they haven’t received any funds for three years. Let’s get rid of this Learning Community “pot” and put it back into the taxpayer’s public schools where it is supposed to be.”
The Omaha School Board is backing a plan to eliminate the property tax levy it shares with neighboring districts to support the Learning Community.
Governor Dave Heineman said today that the Learning Community will be a big topic of discussion during the upcoming legislative session. He says, “It is really time to seriously consider eliminating the Learning Community. It really hasn’t worked out as everybody envisioned.
The Learning Community was established by the legislature in 2009 and it includes eleven school districts. Their goal was to improve student achievement, especially children in poverty. Common levy funds are distributed to local school districts in Douglas and Sarpy counties according to a state formula.