Important Message from Your Superintendent
April 13, 2016
To Members of the Papillion La Vista Community:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the recent passage of LB 1067. This bill, passed on April 13, 2016 on a 40-7-2 vote, represents a remarkable moment in our District’s history. While the core of the Learning Community remains intact, the most damaging aspects of the law have been amended pending the Governor’s approval. This bill eliminates the common levy, phases out the costly transportation requirements of Open Enrollment, adds dollars to support high poverty schools, and reduces the size of the Learning Community Council. There is much to celebrate in this bill, and it is the direct result of the hard work of many individuals.
To Sen. Kate Sullivan and her Education Committee, thank you for having the courage to draft this bill and support it to the end. The Superintendents have been engaged in direct dialogue with Sen. Sullivan and her staff for at least the last three years. It would have been easy to give up on this bill when obstacles presented themselves, but her persistence and fortitude is appreciated.
To Sen. Jim Smith and our Sarpy County Senators, thank you for your leadership on this critical issue. The Learning Community not only impacts our tax payers but also our respective cities. The boundary issues we face will not be solved overnight, but because of your actions, the continued development of Sarpy County can continue.
To my fellow superintendents, past and present, thank you for your collaboration. Former Papillion La Vista Superintendents Dr. Harlan Metschke and Dr. Rick Black were among the first and most vocal opponents of the Learning Community. Our community owes them both a debt of gratitude. To the current superintendents of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, we accomplished a great thing by working together. I am confident we will continue working together to accomplish even greater things for the children of our respective districts.
To our Board of Education members Jeremy Kinsey, Lee Denker, Connie Bowne, Bill Gess, Patti Conway-Boyd, and Valerie Fisher, thank you for establishing the vision and remaining steadfast in your principles. I sincerely hope our families understand how hard this Board of Education works on behalf of our children.
Finally, to our community, thank you for your unwavering support. Mayor Black and Mayor Kindig served as key advocates by supporting the District. In all matters, from attending our Learning Community forums to engaging in a postcard writing campaign, our community again illustrated why this is such a special place to live. We couldn’t have accomplished this task without your hard work and diligence.
Much work remains to continue to make the Papillion La Vista Community Schools the finest public school district in the country. But on this day, may we all bask in the success of a hard-earned victory for our community and our students.
Andrew J. Rikli, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools