City Council approves #036;38.8 million for schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2005

City lawmakers unanimously adopted the Suffolk School Board’s portion of its budget–less partial funding for a daytime alternative school-on Wednesday.

Moments after a motion to fully fund the school’s budget request failed, the Suffolk City Council approved the $38.8 million allocation for the school system.

The city only approved $350,000 of the school board’s original $700,000 request to start up a daytime alternative school. During a work session Monday, City Manager R. Steven Herbert recommended that funding be cut by 50 percent to help fund a 2 cent real estate tax reduction.

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But several council members opposed the cut, saying the city needs to find a way to fund the alternative school.

&uot;I stand by my commitment to fully fund schools,&uot; said Councilman Calvin Jones.

&uot;We asked the school board what we needed to do to go to the next level and they did what we asked them to do. We talked the talk. Now it’s time to walk the walk.&uot;

The council, when it takes up the remainder of its $312.7 million operating budget next month, may fund the remaining $350,000 at that time.

&uot;It’s not a dead issue,&uot; Jones said.

The school board’s budget was adopted early to allow the schools to move ahead with hiring new teachers and issuing contracts to existing employees, Jones said.