Bill Summary, LB 511 (1991)
Legislative Bill 511 (1991) was the first comprehensive technical cleanup bill after the passage of LB 1059 (1990) a year earlier.
LB 511 as passed consisted of 97 sections within 77 pages, a fairly substantial piece of legislation. The bill contained both technical and substantive changes to a wide array of education-related, and some non-education-related statutes. The major change with regard to affiliation concerned the extension of the deadline for Class I districts to affiliate from February 1, 1992 to February 1, 1993. This change was meant to give Class I districts more time to complete the affiliation process set out in LB 259 (1990). This provision was, in fact, the principal reason for Senator Lamb’s interest in using his priority bill as a vehicle for LB 719 in the first place. Senator Lamb was a long-time supporter and defender of Class I districts and had fought against the affiliation issue in past sessions.
LB 511 also changed the method of financing for the enrollment option program. Beginning in the 1992-93 school year, the program would be funded through the state aid formula, as opposed to a separate fund and distribution system. The payment amounts to school districts would be phased-in during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 school years. In the 1994-95 school year, districts would receive tiered cost per student for option students served in the 1992-93 school year since state aid was calculated based on data two years in arrears. LB 511 marked the first direct connection between option students and the new formula, although the original formula did include option payments as other actual receipts. Option payments to districts would continue to be an issue as the formula evolved in later years.
LB 511 changed the definition of “average daily membership” in the definitions section of TEEOSA to provide that part-time students who are enrolled in a public school instructional program on less than a full-time basis would be counted on a proportionate basis for purposes of distributing state aid. This would include, for instance, home school or private school students who attend a public school for certain instructional programs. Counting these students was actually easier said than done since it would become necessary for the Department of Education to collect data on the number of students affected by the legislation and use the information to compute state aid payments beginning in school year 1991-92. As a result of this change, a school district may experience an increase or decrease in state aid depending upon whether the district could count additional students for purposes of state aid and if the district was eligible to receive equalization aid. The new calculation of average daily membership would commence for the 1993-94 school year.