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The interlocal agreement that would create a $2.1 million city-school program called Safe and Successful Kids appears to be headed toward passage.

But the Lincoln City Council delayed that decision for one week so attorneys for the city and school district could iron out language about how to handle paying for new school resource officers and a threat-assessment officer.

The program would provide additional school resource officers for middle schools, more mental health services in schools and additional funding for after-school programs. 

The Lincoln Board of Education, the council and Mayor Chris Beutler are apparently now supporting the interlocal agreement approach, rather than setting up a joint public agency, a quasi-governmental group with the ability to levy up to a one-cent tax rate (1 percent per $100 of assessed property value).

Beutler has asked the council to not consider his JPA proposal. 

The program, labeled the Safe and Successful Kids program, is the city and school district response to parental concerns after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting earlier this year.

The program responds to requests by some parents for more school resource officers and the desire by others in the community to improve student access to therapists and to create a permanent home for the after-school programs called community learning centers, or CLCs.   

The school board and the council had earlier considered creating the same program through a JPA. But public opposition led to the interlocal agreement approach, which creates an identical Safe and Successful Kids program, including a governing board made up of three city representatives and three school board representatives, and a nonprofit corporation representing the almost one dozen nonprofit agencies that offer after-school programs.

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The school district and the city would each commit $1.05 million to the program the first year, with the ability to raise that amount in future years, under the interlocal agreement. 

The $2.1 million total is about the same amount of money as would be raised by the one-cent tax levy. The agreement means the school district and city each are each committing a half-cent of their property tax revenues to the program next fiscal year.

The city and school district are also creating a memorandum of understanding to address concerns raised by parents of minority students and a number of groups about the role and training of school resource officers. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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