1995-1996: Introduction


The Complete History of the Nebraska Tax Equity
and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA)
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Both 1995 and 1996 proved to be pivotal years for public education, although the direction of the pivot may not have been entirely to school officials' liking.  These were the years of the lids, both spending and levy limitations.  The Legislature would begin whittling away at school districts' spending authority, and that of other political subdivisions, beginning in 1995.  It would become a trend in state policy that continues to unsettle educators to this day.  The Legislature would also find itself in a property tax crisis, whether real or perceived, and would attempt to address the issue before various citizen groups succeeded in finding a solution of their own through petition measures.

In addition, and perhaps for the first time in Nebraska history, the Legislature will establish an elaborate state policy of promoting reorganization through financial incentive.  Rather than forcing consolidation, the legislative body will dangle the carrot to encourage school districts to merge on their own accord.  This also would set a trend in state policy and would eventually foster new forms of school organization in succeeding legislative sessions.

The Legislature would also take on a full scale, comprehensive retooling of the school finance formula.  While much of the original formula would remain in tact, an effort was made to modify the formula in such a way as to be more sensitive to the realities faced by school districts in providing a quality education.  New components to the formula would be added, and others changed, with the ultimate goal to keep pace with the ever-changing public education fiscal environment.


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