A $5.5 million increase can be seen in the 2018–19 Gretna Public Schools budget. The $69.1 million general operating budget was approved Sept. 9 by the Gretna Public Schools Board of Education.

The board set the tax levy at $1.41 per $100 valuation, a 2.8 cent increase over last year. Of that $1.41, $1.04 goes to the general fund and 36 cents goes to the bond fund.

The district anticipated a 3-cent levy increase due to the passing of the 2018 bond issue, which has already funded projects including the Gretna Elementary School renovation, and stadium and field work at Gretna High School. Nearly 65 percent of voters approved the $85 million bond, which will also see two new elementary schools built, among other things.

The owner of a $200,000 home can expect to pay $2,820 in taxes to the school district.

The $5.5 million increase in general operating cost is largely attributed to an increase in salary and benefits for current and new staff members.

More than 82 percent of the budget goes to staff.

This district added 33.5 staff positions this school year, with two positions added halfway through the 2017–18 year as well.

Also at its Sept. 9 meeting, the board heard a report on construction before entering executive sessions to discuss land acquisition, litigation and negotiations.

The next Board of Education meeting will be Monday at 7 p.m. at the Gretna Public Schools administration building, 11717 S. 216th St.

The board meets the second and fourth Monday of each month. For meeting agendas and minutes, visit www.gpsne.org.

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