School funding and the future of Hastings’ elementary system were the two big topics in a debate Tuesday among six candidates for the Hastings Public Schools Board of Education.
There are five open seats on the board to be decided in the Nov. 6 general election. The five incumbent members of the board all are running for re-election are Jim Boeve, Brent Gollner, Jessica Meeske, Matt Pershing and Laura Schneider.
The sixth candidate in the panel was Steven Marvel, who ran against this same group for a position on the board four years ago.
The candidates started with brief opening statements before going straight into the issue of elementary facilities.
An advisory committee was recently formed and met in its first session a week ago to start looking at options and costs of different options for the elementary facilities.
The candidates also talked about funding. Along with property taxes, HPS also depends heavily on state aid to schools handed down by the Nebraska Legislature.
However, the state aid formula changes almost annually and the funding either stays the same or shrinks, while the district’s operation costs continue to grow.
“I have a degree in math and a master’s in statistics and I don’t understand the formula,” Boeve said of the state aid formula.