Community Learning Centers $1 Million Request – May 15, 2012

The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) supports the Lincoln Community
Learning Centers (CLC) goals of improving student learning, strengthening families, and
the neighborhoods where they live. LIBA also believes that it is important for this
organization to improve and grow with the community.

However, LIBA will not support a request from Lincoln Community Learning Centers
for $1 million from Lincoln’s taxpayers.

LIBA recently requested budget documents from CLC and learned that CLC does not
have a budget that breaks down its numbers for salaries and number of employees. They
have also not produced a budget to account for their “home office” expenses. This is not
the type of transparent accounting required of an organization asking for $1 million from
Lincoln’s taxpayers.

A complete and itemized budget needs to be maintained and available for review by the
public. This budget must account for all income and expenditures and the specifics of the
origins of funds and uses of those funds.

The CLC also needs to establish itself as an independent, well managed, transparent, and
public organization that collaborates with the City and LPS but is independent of both. In
other words, we would not support the creation of a JPA with a taxing authority.

Donations and grant money that they receive are filtered through the LPS Foundation
because CLC is not an entity. Plus, the LPS Foundation is now keeping 10% of the CLC
money as a management fee. We would recommend that CLC establish their identity
prior to asking for financial assistance from the taxpayers.

We are issuing our statement well in advance of the city budget process in order to give
CLC time to respond with financial documents and records for the community to review.
Our request for these documents is appropriate if CLC are going to seek $1 million from
Lincoln’s taxpayers.