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SBoE Member Deb Neary reports – Jan. 30, 2023

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Your urgent attention is needed today!
Please help us advocate for public schools this week.
 
There are many ways to be engaged in supporting our public schools in Nebraska. See suggestions below. I am also happy to connect you to groups and friends that you can join with in order to begin/continue your advocacy efforts.
 
I suggest:
1. Please get informed, write your state senator, show up to testify and/or make calls to key state senator offices regarding the following bills: LB573 (hearing is this Friday) and LB 374 (hearing is tomorrow- Tuesday.)
2. Complete survey for new commissioner qualifications
3. Become more informed about education tax credits
4. Become a school board “Documenter”
5. Listen to the NDE Rules Hearing on Tuesday morning regarding proposed changes to school accreditation, school approval, and basic skills competency for teachers
 
  There are two education bills of considerable concern that are being heard in committee this week:
 
·     LB 374 has a committee hearing on Tuesday (tomorrow) at 1:30 pm. For more information, please visit: https://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=49935
 
·     LB 573 has a committee hearing on Friday afternoon. For more information, please visit: https://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=50326
 
Please get informed, write your state senator, show up to testify, watch the committee testimony online, and/or make calls to key state senator offices regarding these bills.
 
If you need more information on any of these bills, please let me know.
 
Included below you will find resources to help you better understand some school funding issues in Nebraska, and the challenges and dangers of LB573.
 
The Nebraska State Board of Education is seeking public feedback as part of the search for Nebraska’s next Commissioner of Education. All interested stakeholders are invited to complete a brief online survey regarding the search by clicking here. All survey responses must be submitted by January 31, 2023.
 
It is the board’s plan to interview applicants in late March and to approve a new Commissioner at the April 7, 2023, board meeting. It is our goal to have a new Nebraska Education Commissioner in place by July 1, 2023.
  
School funding in Nebraska is a complex matter, however, the negative impact of vouchers and tax credits is not complicated to understand. Please watch this webinar that was taped today by Open Sky Policy Institute to hear the negative impact that has occurred in other states, and that will come to Nebraska if we pass LB 753.
 
You may also visit Open Sky Policy Institute to learn about a variety of crucial education policy topics in Nebraska. OpenSkyPolicy.org
 
And– please read the talking points around LB 753 that were developed by Stand For Schools. LB 753 Talking Points by Stand for Schools
  
Please also consider volunteering one or two nights a month to help write summaries of local school board meetings. The new education watch program is called Omaha Documenters. This project is based on a successful model in Chicago and Cleveland called Documenters. The Documenters model will be utilized in Omaha to support city & county public meetings, however, they are currently seeking volunteers to help monitor all local school board & education board meetings.
 
Purpose of Education watch group – coverage & reporting on local & state board meetings to inform public & ensure public participation when needed.
Activities– organize volunteer “reporters” to attend state and local school board meetings, write meeting summaries to be shared, and activate volunteers to show up at meetings when needed. Training and coordination will be provided by the Omaha Institute of Nonprofit Journalism.
For more information, please contact Abbie Kretz, Executive Director for Omaha Documenters. She can be reached at [email protected].
 
 
THANK YOU for your support of Nebraska’s schools!
 

 
 

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