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Classrooms will be 'feeling the pain' of OPS pension woes for years to come. Taxpayers may, too

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"We need the new schools, but it's going to cost millions of dollars to operate these schools. Money's not falling out of the sky."
— Board member Ben Perlman
Suzy Anderson

Suzy Anderson said that support staffers often feel shorthanded, and that can affect kids. If someone calls in sick or jobs aren't filled, that might translate to longer, slower lunch lines.

Teachers, supporters fill OPS headquarters board room

Wearing red shirts as a show of solidarity, Omaha Education Association members occupy many of the seats at at a meeting of the Omaha Public Schools board on Wednesday.

Omaha Education Association members
artmug_Marque Snow

Board President Marque Snow said he hasn't fielded many complaints related to budget cuts. He said Superintendent Cheryl Logan has been meeting regularly with principals and other school staff to stay on top of concerns.

artmug_Lou Ann Goding

Board member Lou Ann Goding said she's gotten an earful about staff reductions or reassignments at several elementary schools in her northwest Omaha subdistrict.

"I'm aware of how challenging it's been for not only parents, but teachers as well. In my subdistrict, it hasn't been pretty."
— Board member Lou Ann Goding
Ben Perlman

Ben Perlman said he doesn't think the past administration provided concrete numbers on the operational costs. "We need the new schools, but it's going to cost millions of dollars to operate these schools," he said. "Money's not falling out of the sky."

How much can a levy ovverride raise?

Westside and Millard are currently the only Nebraska districts with voter-approved levy overrides in place, but an idea has been floated that would allow OPS to raise more revenue by exceeding the state property tax limit. This data is based on OPS taxpayers with a home valued at $150,000.

Levy ovverride

Escalating payments

Omaha Public Schools’ projected contributions to the pension plan as of Oct. 18. The projections will be updated this spring.

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Reporter - Education

Erin is an enterprise reporter for the World-Herald. Previously, Erin covered education. Follow her on Twitter @eduff88. Phone: 402-444-1210.

Reporter - Metro News

Henry is a general assignment reporter, but his specialty is deep dives into state issues and public policy. He's also into the numbers behind a story, yet to meet a spreadsheet he didn't like. Follow him on Twitter @HenryCordes. Phone: 402-444-1130.

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