City Council members, Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) Board of Education members and Mayor Chris Beutler have reached a compromise on the Safe and Successful Kids initiative to ensure that school safety and student enrichment programs continue to be a funded, long-term priority. The elected officials are proposing an interlocal agreement, with the City and LPS each committing $1.05 million, to share the costs of providing protective, preventative, and proactive services for Lincoln's youth.
Terms of the proposed interlocal include the following:
In April, the Safe and Successful Kids Community Coalition proposed the formation of a JPA to add School Resource Officers and a threat assessment officer and to provide more funding for student behavioral and mental health services and for enhanced programming at the Community Learning Centers (CLCs).
In May, City Council member Leirion Gaylor Baird and LPS Board Member Lanny Boswell, responding to input from the public and their colleagues, developed an interlocal agreement intended to match the terms of the proposed JPA.
Gaylor Baird, Council member Roy Christensen and Boswell developed the process that led to the compromise. A joint working committee collaborated on the resolution set to be offered to the City Council and School Board. The committee included City Council members Gaylor Baird, Christensen and Carl Eskridge; School Board members Boswell, Connie Duncan and Don Mayhew; the Mayor's Office; and the LPS administration.
Beutler and LPS Superintendent Steve Joel praised City and LPS staff who worked on the substance of the agreement over an extended period of time, as well the elected officials who negotiated the compromise. Beutler and Joel also thanked Lincoln Community Foundation President Barbara Bartle, attorney Kent Seacrest and the community partners who work with the CLC initiative. CLCs were established in LPS in 1999, and LPS currently has CLCs at 19 elementary schools, six middle schools and one high school.
"I want to thank our community for sharing their thoughts and priorities with the School Board and City Council," Boswell said. "I am proud to live in a city that values safe and successful kids and to work with leaders who ensured those values and priorities are reflected in the interlocal agreement. This process was a great start to continued cooperation between the City and the School District, in service to our community's children."
"I want to thank the Mayor for his leadership in proposing the Safe and Successful Kids Initiative," Gaylor Baird said. "The City Council and School Board all agreed with the goals he set. As different ideas about how to get this done emerged, we all listened and compromised. A lot of people listening and being thoughtful about what's best for our community makes for good government. I'm pleased that, together with our non-profit partners, LPS and City leaders are strengthening our commitment to improve the lives of our City's children."
"Community Learning Centers impact the lives of children, improving test scores and creating new opportunities for learning and success," Beutler said. "We have worked for years to find a solution that ensures their future, and the interlocal agreement is a giant step forward. Mental health services, threat assessment and School Resource Officers will help us better protect our children and our community. It is a comprehensive approach to safety and learning that will make a difference to children across the City for years to come."