Senator proposes state takeover of K-12 school funding

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska lawmaker on Wednesday proposed a state takeover of K-12 public education funding as a way to lower property taxes.

Sen. Tom Briese, of Albion, introduced a constitutional amendment that would require state government to pay for local schools. Currently, public schools are financed through a combination of state aid and local property taxes.

Briese said rising property taxes are driven by the state's unwillingness to adequately fund schools. His proposal would place the issue on the 2022 general election ballot, where voters would decide whether to approve it.

The measure could face an uphill battle in the Legislature because of the cost to the state. Briese said it would “force elected officials in Lincoln to recognize the importance of state support for public education in Nebraska.”