While State Senator John Murante may represent District 49, he said he is eager to work for all of Sarpy County and the state of Nebraska.
Murante’s district covers the northwestern part of Sarpy County but he has his eyes set on abolishing the Learning Community in order to help tax payers of the county as well as work to passing a tax relief package for the whole state.
“There will be proposals to abolish the Learning Community, which I support,” Murante said.
He said the Learning Community, which takes and redistributes tax dollars to school districts based on population and poverty levels, may have other senators calling for reformation. He, however, will work on establishing a coalition of state senators who want it abolished before finding another way to assist poor performing districts such as Omaha Public Schools.
“It starts by getting rid of (the Learning Community),” he said.
Murante said that districts such as OPS face many problems such as poor test scores, but those problems won’t go away by giving away Sarpy County tax dollars.
He said that students who opt out of OPS by open enrollment are reported to earn higher test scores in other districts, showing that money does not solve the problems.
Murante added that although the Learning Community has been in place for four years, OPS test scores have reached their lowest point in 18 years.
“It’s just not working,” he said.
While he supports abolishing the program, Murante said there is an obligation and duty to ensure an excellent education for the children of poor performing districts.
“I am willing to sit down with any state senator who’s willing to take a hard look at the metro districts’ operations,” he said.
He said its only right to make sure that both the taxpayers of Sarpy County and the students of OPS are both treated fairly.
When it comes to state taxes, Murante said he is also determined to get a fair tax relief package for the working families of Nebraska.
“If we’re going to keep this economy going, we need to work to put tax money back in the hands of Nebraskans,” he said.
He said that when Governor Dave Heineman presents his tax relief package, it is the duty of state senators to analyze the package fully, pointing where it may fall short or reach too far and making recommendations based on that analysis.
“But at the end of the day, there is going to be a package put on the table,” he said. “We need to get that passed for the working people of Nebraska.”
Murante said he is excited to start working for the state and District 49. He said that he welcomes any resident input, whether from his district or the county. He can be reached in his office at 402-471-2725 or via email at email@example.com.