Friday, October 18, 2002

OPS: Why It's Your Fight, Too

If you don't live within the borders of the Omaha Public Schools, you can't vote "yes" or "no" on the multimillion dollar tax-lid override coming up Nov. 5.

But it's still your fight.

That's because less than half of what OPS spends each year comes from local sources, chiefly local property taxes. The rest comes from taxes people pay to the state and federal governments.

According to the most-recent OPS annual reports on file online, OPS took in $300.1 million overall, and $146.2 million of that was from local receipts of all kinds. Of that, about 82 percent, or $120 million, was from taxes on homes, apartments and commercial buildings in the OPS taxing area.

The other funding sources included $124.3 million from state sources of all kinds. Note that that is more than the total from local property taxes. Chiefly, state income to OPS came in the form of $94 million in state aid to education, with another $20 million plus in various special education funding from the state.

Last, but not least, there's federal tax funding, which totaled $26.1 million, including about $10 million in Title I remediation funding targeted at disadvantaged kids, which has been controversial across the country because Title I methods appear to be making things worse, not better, for our neediest students, including in OPS.

See the OPS annual report at:


Even if you don't live in OPS or own property there, it is, too, your business how they spend our money.


Give to the Go Big Ed ad campaign to fight the OPS tax-levy override. Send confidential donations ASAP to:

Susan Williams
P.O. Box 995
Elkhorn, NE 68022

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