LAWMAKERS CONSIDER $70 MILLION CUT IN SCHOOL FUNDING:

Right now, our State Senators are considering a $70 million CUT in funding for K-12 education. That's more than 1,100 teaching jobs; that's unmanageable class size; that's essential programs eliminated. Our children's education would be severely harmed by this cut. This cut would mean $70 million less for our schools than they are receiving this current school year!

LAST IN STATE FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS:

Nebraska is last in the nation - 50th - in the percent of state revenue supporting public schools. Nationally, 47 percent of the funding for public schools comes from state government revenues while Nebraska state government provides 31.4 percent.

Source: Census Bureau, Public Education Finances

STUDENT NUMBERS:

There are 292,069 students enrolled in Nebraska's K-12 public schools.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

HIGH STANDARDS:

Of Nebraska's 254 school districts, 247 require four or more years of language arts and math in high school.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

POVERTY:

38 percent of Nebraska's K-12 students live in poverty and are eligible for free or reduced meals.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

FEWER SCHOOL DISTRICTS:

In 1991-92, there were 783 school districts in Nebraska. Today there are just 254.

EXPERIENCED TEACHERS:

On average, Nebraska teachers have 15.2 years of classroom teaching experience.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

QUALIFIED TEACHERS:

More than 94 percent of Nebraska's K-12 public school teachers teach in the area in which they are endorsed.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

TEACHERS WITH MASTER'S DEGREE:

Of Nebraska's 24,300 teachers, 10,712 have a master's degree.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

NEBRASKA TOPS IN ACT SCORES:

In 2008-09, 72 percent of Nebraska high school seniors took the ACT exam. Nebraska's 22.1 average score ranked first among U.S. states with 70 percent or more graduates taking the ACT.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

ACADEMIC RIGOR:

In 2008-09, Nebraska students who had completed at least four years of English and three years of mathematics, social studies and natural science scored nearly a point higher on the ACT than the national average.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

READING PROFICIENCY:

In 2000-01, less than 80 percent of Nebraska students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 were proficient readers. Today, more than 91 percent of students in those grades are proficient readers.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

PROFICIENCY IN MATH:

In 2000-01 less than 80 percent of Nebraska students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 11 were proficient in math. Today, more than 90 percent of students in those grades are proficient in math.

Source: Nebraska State Board of Education 2009

GRADUATION RATE:

At 91.3 percent, the number of students receiving their high school diploma ranks Nebraska fourth in the nation.

Source: US Census Bureau, 2004.

AVERAGE SALARY FOR TEACHERS:

Nebraska teachers rank 42nd nationally in average salary at $44,957, lagging the national average by more than $9,375. Just three years ago, Nebraska was ranked 38th.

Source: NEA Rankings and Statistics, 2008

SALARY COMPARISION:

In Nebraska, teachers make 21 percent less in weekly wages than their four-year college graduate colleagues, and more than $6,000 less on an annual basis.

Source: Economic Policy Institute, 2008, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data

TEACHERS LEAVING THE PROFESSION:

Nationally, 46 percent of new teachers leave teaching within five years. Among school teachers younger than 30, 15 percent moved to another school district and another nine percent left teaching. Twenty percent of new teachers left teaching after one year.

Source: 2004 NCES survey

NEBRASKANS WELL EDUCATED:

Based on student achievement, positive outcomes and personal attention from teachers, Nebraska ranks as the 12th-best educated populace among all states, according to the Morgan Quitno Press publication 'Education State Rankings, 2005-2006,' the latest ranking available. Nebraska ranks ahead of all adjacent states.

TOP 10 IN ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT:

Nebraska consistently ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in student achievement on ACT and NAEP scores.

LITTLE STATE SUPPORT OF TEACHER SALARIES:

Two-thirds of the funding for teacher salaries and compensation comes from local sources, primarily property taxes. Less than 3 percent of state aid funding is connected to teacher qualifications and none is dedicated to be used for teacher compensation.

NEBRASKA TEACHERS' STARTING SALARIES AMONG LOWEST IN REGION:

The average starting salary ($29,067) for Nebraska teachers in 2008-09 ranked sixth when compared to average starting salaries paid in contiguous states. Nebraska trailed Wyoming ($40,658), Iowa ($35,508), Kansas ($32,094), Colorado ($30,799), South Dakota ($29,987), and ranked ahead of only Missouri ($28,960).