By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Without making any amendments to the proposal presented by district administration, the Grand Island Board of Education voted to adopt a $63 million 2019-20 school budget at a Tuesday.
Dr. Rubie Harris, Grand Island Central School District assistant superintendent for business and finance, presented for the board’s consideration a 2019-20 budget totaling $63,661,704.
The real property tax levy of $34,381,951 is an increase of $918,798, or 2.75%. The proposed estimated tax rate for 2019-20 is $19.89 per $1,000, an increase of $0.53, or 2.74%.
The public while vote thumbs up or down on the school budget May 21. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 13.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, two district school nurses, AnnMarie Stewart and Maura Bobak, advocated for additional nursing staff. Stewart told the board, “We are facing one of the most critical nurse shortages we have seen in all my years in the district.” As well, the district is seeing an “unprecedented turnover rate” in nursing staff, she said.
Superintendent Dr. Brian Graham said there is a full-time nurse in every school and a part-time float nurse that moves from building to building two days a week. “That program is being maintained” in the proposed budget, he said. Trustee Glenn Bobeck added that after the budget is adopted, the board can allocate dollars from another budget line to address a nurse shortage if new information indicates the need, similarly to when the district adds a teacher to address unexpected higher class sizes.
The next regular meeting of the Grand Island Board of Education will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, May 13, in the Professional Development Room of Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road. The meeting will include a public hearing on the adopted 2019-20 school budget.
Board of Education meetings air on Time Warner Cable Channel 22.
Board of Education Trustees