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The Beatrice Board of Education approved a roughly $32.8 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year this week.

In comparison, the budget for the 2018-2019 school year was roughly $31.1 million.

Those numbers include money allotted for unexpected projects and repaying bonds. The general fund budget for 2019-2020 is closer to $29.5 million.

During its meeting Monday evening, Superintendent Jason Alexander said that the district reduced spending by almost $200,000 in the 2018-19 school year as compared to the previous school year.

More than $6 million of the upcoming budget will come from state aid, the first increase the district has seen in several years and roughly a $1 million increase from the year before. In the previous five years, state aid decreased in the district by over $7.6 million.

Alexander said the increase in state aid was partially due to the district’s elevated needs according to the Tax Equity Educational Opportunity Support Act formula.

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State aid helps fund school expenses like general supplies and other school needs.

“The reason why we saw that increase was the new school adjustment- so the addition at Paddock Lane. Since that was complete, we were able to apply for that and receive that,” Alexander said.

Alexander said that it’s challenging to control when revenue arrives, especially with local tax collections. However, Alexander said that they can control expenses, and credited the staff for finding ways to reduce costs.

“Not one time have we ever completely had more expenditures than revenue. That has not happened,” Alexander said.

The board received the first student update of the year, which was given by Zack Zimmerman. Alexander led Zimmerman through the student member oath of office at the beginning of the meeting.

The board also approved spending $5,000 to help repair and resurface the Hannibal Park tennis courts, as the BHS boys and girls’ tennis teams utilize them. The city estimates the entire project to cost $35,000.

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