Superintendent Steve Joel announced he would be retiring at the end of the school year. Joel joined LPS in 2010 after serving as the superintendent for Grand Island Public Schools for 10 years. Joel’s first challenge at LPS came within his first year when a tragic fire resulted in a complete loss of the LPS District Office in 2011. During his time as superintendent, he has focused on comprehensive solutions to significant school and community issues. LPS has faced booming enrollment, adding approximately 5,700 students in the last 10 years, and passed two bond referendums to build new schools and renovate existing buildings while increasing school security measures and the technology infrastructure.
The Board held a four-month long national search for the next superintendent with a wide-range of community input sessions. In February of 2022, the Lincoln Board of Education announced Paul Gausman would be the next superintendent. Gausman had been the superintendent for Sioux City Community School District since 2014, during which time the school district has seen significant gains in academic achievement and the graduation rate. In December 2021, he was elected by superintendents from across the nation to serve as president of the Urban Superintendents Association of America.
Every LPS high school saw an increase in the number of students graduating over the previous years where there was a continuous slight decline. The LPS four-year graduation rate for the class of 2022 is up two points to 83.9%. This is the highest graduation rate for LPS since 2018. You can find more information about the 2022 graduation rates here.
Each year, the Nebraska Department of Education releases school accountability data using the AQuESTT Framework. AQuESTT stands for Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow and includes state classifications and federal designations. 2022 is the first-time new classifications have been released since Fall 2019.
More information can be found on the Nebraska Department of Education website.
While schools across the nation continue to learn how much the COVID-19 pandemic impacted students, 2022 fall assessments showed that students in Lincoln continued to progress at a better pace than their peers.
LPS officials released their Fall 2022 Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) data, along with information from previous years prior to and during the pandemic. The MAP growth assessment is one of the nation’s most widely used and trusted assessments to measure academic achievement and growth in K-12 education. It is an adaptive test that allows educators to make real-time assessments of student learning and timely adjustments to provide learning interventions and extra supports for students. It can also be compared nationally with over 6 million students in grades 3-8 who also took MAP growth assessments in reading and mathematics.
Key takeaways LPS gained from the reading and math assessments include:
You can see more of the numbers on our website here.
LPS has a solid process for budget development, using a three-year forecasting and sustainability model to manage and stabilize the swings in state funding revenue. LPS is one of the lowest-spending school districts in the state for per-pupil costs and has been for decades – ranking 213 out of 244 school districts in Nebraska in per-pupil spending, more than $1,000 lower than the state average.
Instruction accounts for 81.34% of total expenditures!