2017 Legislative Session
In the Appropriations Committee, Senator Rick Kolowski (District 31) introduced LB 270, a bill to provide $750,000 in funding to support the ELO Opportunity grant program. If enacted, this new funding would add to the $250,000 that the Legislature authorized last year, funding which is being used to support new program partnerships in communities across the state. Jeff Cole, Network Lead for Beyond School Bells, recently testified on LB 270 before the Appropriations Committee. In his testimony, Jeff shared the results of a national study that found that ELO’s have been successful in helping young people develop an identity as STEM learners. The study also found that Nebraska youth showed the most gains in several key indicators from the 11 states that participated in the study. Here is a link to a write-up for the testimony Jeff gave at the Legislature:http://update.legislature.ne.gov/?p=21034.
In the Education Committee, Senator Adam Morfeld (District 46) introduced LB 246, a bill which would allow districts to exceed their budget authority (but not their property tax levy limit) to support ELO programs through a vote of their elected, local school boards. For districts with student populations over 1000 students the exemption could reach $100,000; for districts with 1000 students or less, the exemption could be up to $50,000. BSB is very supportive of this local control, pro-ELO bill and glad to report that it made it out of the Education Committee with a 5-3 vote.