nebraska school

Due to Budget Constraints, Lincoln Schools Decide Against Increasing Allocation For School Resource Officers

Even before the coronavirus crisis, the Nebraska district was facing an 11 to 15 percent drop in state aid that will cause it to make tough decisions.

The city and school district in Lincoln, Neb. will not increase its contributions to an interlocal agreement focused on school safety improvements because of an increasingly stretched school budget, according to The Lincoln Journal-Star.

Lincoln Public Schools will likely receive $15 million to $20 million less in state aid, an 11 to 15 percent drop, the Journal-Star reported, the largest decrease in a decade.

“When we got together we were not in the middle of a global pandemic, but LPS knew they were having challenges with state aid,” Denise Pearce of the city’s parks and recreation department told the newspaper.

So the district and city have decided to continue their contributions of $1.1 million each for school resource officers, increase programming related to violence prevention, and behavior health supports in schools.

To address concerns about the increase in SROs, the district released a memo detailing how the officers will work at middle school campuses and how data will be collected on police calls for services at schools.

The first report evaluating the middle school SRO program is planned to be released in October, but because of school closures, will not include data from a full school year.

School board leaders will vote on the budget during its April meeting. Under the current budget draft, $494,206 will be allocated to middle school SROs and a threat assessment officer, while $435,568 will go toward social worker pay and increased mental health services for students.

The district said that counseling and mental health agencies serving schools are working with students remotely.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.


  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now