Public education in Nebraska
Energy policy • Public education • School choice • Public pensions • State budget • Ballot measures • Ballot access
|K-12 Education in Nebraska|
|State Superintendent: Matthew Blomstedt|
|Number of students: 301,296|
|Number of teachers: 22,182|
|Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:13.6|
|Number of school districts: 288|
|Number of schools: 1,090|
|Graduation rate: 88%|
|Per-pupil spending: $10,825|
|Nebraska Department of Education|
Nebraska school districts
List of school districts in Nebraska
School boards portal
|Education policy project|
|Public education in the United States |
Public education in Nebraska
Glossary of education terms
- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Education ballot measures
- 11 Studies and reports
- 12 Recent news
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
Nebraska school districts
List of school districts in Nebraska
Public education in Nebraska
School board elections portal
|“||To lead and support the preparation of all Nebraskans for learning, earning, and living.||”|
The Nebraska State Board of Education is an elected, constitutional body that oversees the Nebraska Department of Education. It is a nonpartisan body that has members from each district. Board members serve four-year terms and are not paid except for expense reimbursements.
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. As of 2014, Nebraska had not adopted these standards.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Nebraska compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Nebraska as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic Information for Nebraska's K-12 Public School System|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students||355||0.12%||0.42%|
|Two or More||9,211||3.06%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A plurality of students in Nebraska attend city schools. Students in the state are next most likely to attend rural schools. This is different from neighboring states (Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota), whose students are most likely to attend rural students and then either city or town schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural Schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota), Nebraska had a greater percentage of students score at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade than South Dakota, but a lower percentage compared to Iowa and Kansas.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Nebraska was lower than the national average at 2.1 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 2.2 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Nebraska
School choice options in Nebraska include: homeschooling, online learning, private schools and mandatory public school open enrollment policies.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Nebraska state budget
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 15.3 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is up 0.5 percentage points, a 3.4 percent increase in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 14.8 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education. Over half of Nebraska's education revenue comes from local funding. State funding accounts for just over 30 percent, and federal funding accounts for about 15 percent.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Nebraska totaled approximately $3.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Nebraska and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Nebraska totaled approximately $3.7 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Nebraska and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Nebraska, the average salary increased by 7.7 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Nebraska ranked 26th overall, or average, which was in the third tier of five.
The main union related to the Nebraska school system is the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA). The NSEA is the largest education association in the state.
List of local Nebraska school unions:
- See also: Nebraska government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Nebraska Association of School Boards.
Nebraska Spending is a publicly available website created by the Nebraska government. It discloses information about how the state spends taxpayer dollars and includes data on agency expenditures and contracts. Nebraska Spending was created at the initiative of State Treasurer Shane Osborn in July 2007.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia staff have tracked 8 statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, Amendment 4 (1990)
- Nebraska Dissolution of Class I School Districts Referendum, Initiative Measure 422 (2006)
- Nebraska Early Childhood Education Endowment Fund, Constitutional Amendment 5 (2006)
- Nebraska English in Private Schools, Amendment 1 (2002)
- Nebraska English in Private Schools, Amendment 1 (May 2000)
- Nebraska LB 662, Retention of School Consolidation Law (1986)
- Nebraska Measure 411, Education a Fundamental Right (1996)
- Nebraska School Support through Sales and Income Tax Referendum, Measure 406 (1990)
Studies and reports
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Nebraska + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Nebraska state budget
- Nebraska Department of Education
- Nebraska school districts
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- Nebraska Department of Education
- Nebraska Public School Ratings by PSK12
- Nebraska Public School Ratings by Great Schools
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Nebraska Department of Education, "Welcome to the Department of Education," accessed May 21, 2014
- Nebraska Department of Education, "Nebraska Department of Education Mission," accessed May 21, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Nebraska Department of Education, "Nebraska State Board of Education," accessed May 21, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Center for Union Facts, "Nebraska teachers unions," accessed November 17, 2009
- National Taxpayers Union, "Taxpayer Group Applauds South Carolina Governor, Nebraska Treasurer for Putting State Spending Online," October 10, 2007