Beatrice School Board Passes Budget, Will Switch to Seven-Member Body

Beatrice School Board Passes Budget, Will Switch to Seven-Member Body
Senior Colton Gronewald, taking the oath of office from BPS Superintendent Pat Nauroth

BEATRICE – The Beatrice Board of Education has finalized the district’s new budget for 2017-2018.   The board approved the $43.3 million plan Monday night.  It includes a general fund tax rate that is just under the $1.05 maximum allowed by law.   Counting bond and building funds outside the limit, the total levy comes to $1.087.

:14                  “than last year”

This past December, a bond issue that was used to build the Beatrice High School, was paid off.

The property tax requirement of the new budget totals about $13.28 million, while state aid will come to about $5.23 million.

Separate public hearings were held on the budget plan and district tax rate, Monday night….but no public comment was given.

The District 15 Board also approved a contract with Educational Service Unit Number Five to provide special education services within the district…..and establish capacity limits for option enrollment this school year.

Starting in 2019, the Beatrice School Board will have seven members, instead of six.

A change in state law allows the district to have anywhere from five to nine members.   Previously the board voted to change from a nine-member body, to six board members, with the change going into effect in January of 2015.

Superintendent Pat Nauroth says going to seven members, will help prevent situations where the board is deadlocked.

:30                  “board functioning”

The seventh member will be elected in the 2018 General Election.   Board members whose terms will expire in 2018 include Jon Zimmerman, Nancy Sedlacek and Doris Martin.  Board members whose terms extend through 2020 are Lisa Pieper, Janet Byars and Steve Winter.  School board positions are elected on a non-partisan basis.  Board members are not paid.

Meanwhile, a new student board member was sworn in, Monday night.  Senior Colton Gronewald becomes the non-voting student member of the District 15 Board, for this school year.

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