VENTNOR — The Ventnor School Board approved a budget Wednesday night that would raise the tax rate by 2.44 cents, while staving off some of the cuts projected last week.
The district will keep full-time industrial-arts and basic-skills teachers and a part-time media aide, as well as the summer band program, and fall intramural soccer and field hockey programs, Superintendent Carmine Bonanni said.
Ventnor will cut a part-time pre-kindergarten teacher as well as some stipends, in addition to three teachers, its drivers, several kindergarten aides and moving three other staffers to part-time. The district will also stop busing students who live within two miles of Ventnor Educational Community Complex, a swath that covers about half of Ventnor Heights and a small section near the Atlantic City border.
The district saved the positions and programs by coming up with about $500,000 in the last week, following the budget’s unanimous defeat in front of the school board last week.
The largest chunk of money comes from the district estimating more money from the sale of its buses, Bonanni said. The district plans to privatize its busing program next year, laying off most drivers and selling 16 buses. The district upped its sale estimate from $50,000 to $350,000, Bonanni said, following a more thorough review.
The district also got approval from the county superintendent, Bonanni said, to use $100,000 otherwise set aside for the cafeteria, and will cut some stipends.
Afterward, second-grade teacher AnneMarie Fusser talked with Chris Dougherty, school nurse. “This is good, but bittersweet,” Fusser said, adding of fellow staff, “Marty’s back, but Alisa’s not.”
Dougherty said with the other nurse moving from full- to part-time under this budget, “it’s going to be tough because we see a lot of students throughout the day.”
The $21.2 million budget, which in addition to the one-time revenue uses $17.1 million in local taxes, $1.7 million in state aid and $579,391 in surplus, will go before the Board of School Estimate for final approval.
The board meets in Ventnor City Hall, 6201 Atlantic Ave., at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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