Learning Community (LC) Standing Positions
Papillion La Vista Schools Board of Education Position Statement
Since the initial legislation regarding the LC was first implemented in 2007, the Papillion La Vista
Schools have engaged with fellow school districts, the LC Coordinating Council, state senators, and the governor to change the Learning Community. Our district has consistently opposed the Learning Community with a particular emphasis on the common levy, the governance structure, and the loss of local control regarding finances and boundaries.
PLC Schools Opposes the Learning Community because…
- Student Achievement has not improved as a result of the Learning Community.
- There is nothing in the LC law that focuses on improving student learning in grades K-12.
- The Learning Community’s own research indicates that neither student achievement nor socioeconomic diversity has been impacted by open enrollment procedures.
- The Open Enrollment component of school choice and transportation adds a huge financial burden to school districts and diverts precious resources from initiatives that directly impact student learning.
- Moving students around the two county area creates significant logistical challenges as districts are required to provide transportation for many students.
- The only Elementary Learning Centers (and the resources that aligned with ELCs) that have been created thus far exist in the Omaha Public Schools which do not directly benefit our students.
- Papillion La Vista taxpayers pay more money.
- The LC law divides the property tax base across two counties that do not have consistent property assessment practices.
- When the LC was formed, $1 million annually was appropriated by the state for operations.
- The LC has levied additional taxes to support building projects in north and south Omaha and early childhood programs.
- Taxpayers across the state are paying for the increased cost of transportation tied to open enrollment. This was over $5 million last year alone.
- The PLC Schools loses money every year as a direct result of the Learning Community.
- The PLC Schools have lost over $4.6 million in revenue as a result of the common levy since the implementation of the LC.
- The PLC Schools lost nearly $1.3 million in 2015-16 alone.
- The state of Nebraska pays millions of dollars less in state aid every year by treating the Learning Community as one school district rather than 11 independent school districts.
- The Learning Community creates an additional layer of governance and bureaucracy.
- The LC’s 18 member body is the largest elected body in the state besides the Nebraska Legislature.
- Neither the PLC Schools nor Sarpy County is guaranteed voting members on this council.
- The focus of the Learning Community has changed and is no longer following its original intent.
- The original intent of the LC was freezing school boundaries, redistribution of resources through the common levy, open enrollment, and a focus on innovation through ELCs and focus schools.
- The Learning Community increasingly allocates its resources to early childhood education.
- Many of the LC’s programs, including early childhood and truancy prevention, have already been implemented in member school districts.