North Platte Public Schools holds budget meeting

North Platte Public Schools holds budget meeting
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:05 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:12 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - North Platte Public Schools (NPPS) held a budget meeting Thursday evening to discuss the budgets for upcoming years and some of the changes that have been made.

The biggest change that will impact coming budgets is the variety of new laws passed that impact how the school creates their budget and what money they can obtain from the state.

An example given was now that parents don’t need to fill out forms for free or reduced lunch, the way that the poverty rate is calculated, this could lead to less funds going out to NPPS from the state to assist with poverty for the 2023-24 school year.

However, rates for reimbursement on expenses due to special education are now at 80 percent, which will help the school recoup some of the costs from those expenses.

NPPS’s Finance Director Stuart Simpson said these changes are complex this year, but future budgets will be easier to compute as new laws take effect.

“We’re looking at about a $700,000 loss in state aid, but for our focus we’re not going to lose anything in the education of our students because our focus on this budget is instructional innovation.”

Simpson went on to talk about some of the increases to the budget that seem larger than normal. He started off by factoring in how everything has become more expensive, but expanded by talking about why it is important to overestimate the amount of money the district will need.

“We need to have that budget of expenditure authority because if I don’t have that budget, I have to come back and request that from the board,” Simpson said. “If I don’t have the revenue, I can’t expend it.”

With a couple dozen new hires, the final numbers for costs for this school year are still up in the air and better numbers will be released soon.