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Taxpayers face hikes in school costs
Northtowns Correspondent
If no new programs are added and class size remains steady, Grand Island taxpayers should be in for an additional $292,000 in staffing costs in the 2005-06 budget.

The increase, discussed at Monday's School Board meeting, would pay for two more elementary school teachers as well as three additional teachers and a teacher's aide to be hired to meet possible enrollment changes throughout the district.

"That's a pretty substantial increase, (but) we're basing it on what works," board President David Goris said Monday.

With the increased costs of salaries, retirement and medical benefits added in, taxpayers could see a budget increase of $3.6 million to mirror the programs and class sizes of the current year, officials said.

Superintendent Thomas Ramming warned that all discussions of costs and tax rates are preliminary and will change depending not only on what the board decides, but also what the district will receive in state aid.

One part of the equation, revenues, will be looked at during a three-hour budget workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the district offices.

On Feb. 5, the board will meet again to discuss spending.

Both meetings are open to the public, but residents will not be allowed to speak.