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School budget approved with no tax increase

In what officials said was a record turnout, Grand Island residents Tuesday voted 2,141 to 1,134 to approve the district's revised 2005-06 budget of $42.7 million.

Residents on May 17 rejected a $43.1 million spending plan that featured a 2.8 percent tax hike. The vote then was 1,890 to 1,153.

The spending plan approved Tuesday features no tax rate increase, after officials trimmed $392,000 from the spending plan, including cuts in equipment, field trips, school maintenance, music equipment, communications and the nursing staff.

"This is a great vote for our community and our kids," said Superintendent Thomas Ramming. "It allows us to keep most of our programs intact."

Voters also approved a bus-financing plan that calls for the purchase of five new 65-passenger buses and two wheelchair vans. The state will absorb two-thirds of the cost.