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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 9, 1999)
Long-awaited school-aid data
helps senators mull over bill
By Shane Anthony
Numbers - sheet after sheet of them
- had state senators and school officials
scrambling for calculators Monday.
Long-awaited data from the state
Department of Education gave senators
and schools an idea how schools’ state
aid picture will look next year with or
without LB 149.
The bill puts $ 19.3 million in state
aid that schools would have to have
returned via cuts back into the state bud
get and changes the timing and numbers
used for calculating aid.
Senators and Gov. Johanns have to
decide whether or not LB 149 is the right
solution to state aid questions. Schools
must decide how to deal with the num
bers - whether the bill passes or fails.
“We never spend money until it’s in
the bank,” said John Deegan,
Superintendent of Bellevue Public
Bellevue was one of several school
districts that will receive less state aid if
LB 149 passes. Without LB 149,
Belleyue would lose $29,758,525 in
state aid - about $300,000 less than last
year, he said. If the bill passes, Bellevue
would lose $422,749 less than last year.
But Deegan said he will probably
still support the bill.
“I think the state’s commitment to
state aid has been there the last couple of
years, and if there are some adjustments
we have to go through, we’ll work with
those,” he said.
But other schools, such as
Petersburg, a small district southwest of
Norfolk, face different decisions.
“We’re not really any better off than
we were before,” said Superintendent
“We’re going to have to reduce some
I staff, I think,” he said. Phillips is leaving
the district, so the school can save by hir
ing a part-time superintendent.
Petersburg would receive $23,313
more in state aid if LB149 passes, bring
ing its total state aid to $110,553. Some
senators were not convinced that the
numbers provided real answers.
Omaha Sen. Pam Brown introduced
an amendment that would change the
date schools would receive certification
for state aid from Feb. 1 to March 1. She
said the fact that the Department of
Education could did not have figures
until now concerned her.
In a press conference after debate,
Hastings Sen. Ardyce Bohlke said the
department started running the numbers
in January, immediately after the bill -
sponsored by the Education Committee
- was introduced. Next year, she said,
the department will have time to pro
duce numbers by Feb. 1.
Bohlke said LB 149 does not con
flict with the governor’s budget plan,
which would include a property tax
belief program. But passing it would
leave less money for that plan, she said.
In his press conference, Johanns
said he wanted to look at dropping the
re-spin - an auditing mechanism that
brought a $22 million miscalculation in
this year’s state aid to light
Chris Peterson, a spokesman for
Johanns, said the governor also has con
cerns about locking the state into school
During floor debate, Brown raised
similar questions, referring to LB 149 as
an “autopilot’ for state aid.
But Bohlke said the current system
for determining state aid is no different
in that respect
The fiscal analyst determines a fig
ure that is given to the governor and the
Appropriations Committee, she said.
LB 149, Bohlke said, looks forward.
The Department of Education used
actual data - not estimates - in arriving
at the figures presented Monday, she
said. The projected state aid figures
would allow schools to plan for 1999
2000. Reductions some schools would
receive under LB 149 would be reflected
in next year’s re-spin, she said.
William Knapper, director of busi
ness services for Scottsbluff Public
Schools, which will receive $121,738
less in state aid if LB 149 passes, said he
hopes the Legislature gets state aid fig
Scottsbluff will still receive more
state aid next year than last year, but he
and other schools are just hoping for
“The Legislature needs to get a han
dle on what they’re doing with state aid,”
he said. “There’s a real lack of under
standing on the part of the Legislature
on how this program works, and there’s
a real lack of common sense in this pro
c 1 \ .
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Yankee Hall of Famer
DiMaggio dies at 84
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) - He
was simply and forever the Yankee
Clipper, amazing America with The
Streak, captivating it with his class and
inspiring wistful lines in literature and
Joe DiMaggio died at home
Monday, surrounded by family and
friends, following a five-month battle
with lung cancer.
At age 84, Joltin’ Joe has left and
DiMaggio underwent surgery in
October, battling complications for
weeks afterward and even falling into a
coma briefly during his 99-day hospital
ization. But he also astounded his doc
tors by repeatedly bouncing back.
DiMaggio left the hospital Jan. 19
to recuperate at home, where his bed
was decorated with a sign that said,
“April 9. Yankee Stadium or Bust”
He died shortly after midnight, said
Morris Engelberg, his longtime friend
and attorney, one month and one day
shy of making it back to the Bronx for
the home opener. For years DiMaggio
had smoked three packs a day, and at
times he even sneaked behind the run
way at Yankee Stadium during games to
have a cigarette with Gehrig.
Said Ted Williams, who shared the
spotlight with DiMaggio in the ’41 sea
son by batting .406 for Boston, the last
time anyone batted .400: “There is no
one Ted Williams admired, respected
and envied more than Joe DiMaggio.
Because of my close relationship with
the DiMaggio family, I feel a very deep
Commissioner Bud Selig said he
idolized DiMaggio: “I never saw a play
er who was as graceful. There was an
aura about him that was amazing.”
The Hall of Fame flag in
Cooperstown, N.Y., was lowered to
half-staff and a wreath was placed
around DiMaggio’s plaque. U.S. flags at
Yankee Stadium, including the one in
left field’s hallowed Monument Park,
were also at half-staff.
DiMaggio roamed center field and
ran the basepaths for 13 years through
1951, playing for 10 pennant, winners
There was an aura
about him that was
Major League Baseball
and nine World Series champions
despite missing three years because of
service in World War II.
He batted .325 lifetime, with 361
home runs. He won three AL Most
Valuable Player awards, appeared in 11
All-Star games, and entered the Hall of
Fame in 1955, his third year of eligibili
ty. For half a century, he was introduced
as “the greatest living player.”
The summer of ’41 was magical
largely because of DiMaggio’s 56-game
hitting streak, one of baseball’s most
enduring records. The streak riveted a"
country fresh from the Depression and
elevated DiMaggio from baseball star
to national celebrity.
He ascended to the top rank of pop
ular culture in 1954 when he wed
Marilyn Monroe, a storybook marriage
that lasted less than a year and left him
brokenhearted. For years after she died
in 1962, DiMaggio sent roses to her
grave but refused to talk about her.
Only twice did DiMaggio bat less
than .300. He accumulated 3,948 total
bases and drove in 1,537 runs. He fin
ished his career with 2,214 hits.
Yet, the numbers don’t account fully
for his almost legendary place on the
American cultural landscape, the rea
son Ernest Hemingway wrote about
him and Simon and Garfunkel sang
about him. There was something about
the courtly bearing of this son of Italian
immigrants that made him special.
Said former Dodgefis manager Tom
Lasorda: “If you said to God, ‘Create
someone who was what a baseball play
er should be,’ God would have created
Joe DiMaggio. And he did.”
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