Bill to restructure OPS board moves to full Legislature for debate

The Nebraska Legislature convenes at the State Capitol in Lincoln on Jan. 9.

LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers are slated to start debate Thursday on a proposed shakeup of the Omaha Public Schools board.

Speaker of the Legislature Greg Adams of York said Wednesday that he plans to put Legislative Bill 125 on the agenda for the day.

He invited senators to look at maps of the proposed new district boundaries before debate begins.

Adams said lawmakers could work with legislative research staff on developing alternative maps, if they are unhappy with the proposed districts.

LB 125, introduced by State Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha, would cut the number of OPS board members to nine, down from the current 12.

It also would require new elections for the board to be held in conjunction with the Omaha city elections this spring.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine announced Monday that he plans legal action challenging the seating of four new and two re-elected board members.

He said the six were sworn in after the legal deadline, making their seats vacant. One of those board members, President Freddie Gray, has since resigned from the board.

The county attorney's action could force a special election.

The elections called for in LB 125 would eliminate the need for a special election.

An amendment approved by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee removed the proposed term limits for board members.

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