School districts share how interlocal agreement works

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings League of Women Voters held a meeting Friday to discuss an interlocal agreement between school districts in the area. The agreement helps determine where students go to school, where property taxes go and how much state aid comes in.

The League of Women Voters in Hastings welcomed local superintendents to explain how their interlocal agreement works with their tax dollars. (KSNB)

The superintendents of Adams Central and Hastings Public Schools explained how they make their agreement work. About 15 years ago the schools worked with the county to see how Hastings would be divided up.

“Hastings Public and Adams Central are the poster child of what's different about schools in Nebraska and how funding works,” HPS Superintendent Jeff Schneider said. “So the whole point of this agreement was a financial benefit.”

Now Hastings Public gets significant state aid due to the number of students they have and the value of the surrounding property. Adams Central is funded mostly through property taxes.

“Before the interlocal agreement when you look at taxing districts there was maybe 10 or 12 in all of Adams County,” AC Superintendent Shawn Scott said. “Today there's hundreds because of the interlocal agreement and how taxes affect different pieces of property.”

It's a process the schools said was difficult for the public to adjust to but it helps them provide quality education to students. Hastings is one of the places where an agreement like this has been able to work out and the superintendents don't see it changing with how schools are funded now and the price of property taxes.