Education omnibus bill approved

An education omnibus bill that restricts a levy limit exemption for teachers’ voluntary termination agreements received final approval from the Legislature May 16.

As introduced by the Education Committee, LB512 was drafted to make several technical changes to education law. As amended, it includes the provisions of several other education-related bills.

LB457, introduced by Sen. Tom Briese of Albion, restricts a budget and levy limitation exemption for the funds a school district agrees to pay teachers and administrators in exchange for voluntary termination of employment.

As amended, it exempts from budget and levy limits the amounts levied to pay for 75 percent of the funds used for voluntary termination agreements for fiscal year 2018-19. That would decrease to 50 percent for FY2019-20 and 25 percent for FY2020-21.

The bill also allows school districts already at their maximum levy to exempt from budget and levy limitations up to $35,000 of payments for a teacher’s voluntary termination agreement that is not part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Provisions of LB123, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, authorize the Coordinating Commission on Postsecondary Education to assess a fee on for-profit post-secondary institutions in the state and direct the proceeds to a cash fund. The commission then may receive, evaluate and pay claims to students to recover lost tuition and fees resulting from the closure of a for-profit institution.

LB175, introduced by Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, prohibits technology companies that contract with schools from using student data for targeted advertising or creating student profiles for non-educational purposes.

LB235, introduced by Sen. Lynne Walz of Fremont, authorizes recipients of a grant under the Summer Food Service Program to spend a grant’s full amount when starting or expanding a summer food program. As amended, the bill reduces the amount of money appropriated to the program from $140,000 to $100,000 per year.

LB398, introduced by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, requires that someone currently certified in first aid, CPR and drowning risk prevention be present at every swimming pool owned, rented, leased or otherwise used by a school district for practice, competition or other school function.

The bill passed 47-0.

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