Fairbury School Board approves budget, parking lot plans, dress code update

FAIRBURY, NE — Fairbury Public Schools is moving into the new fiscal year with a budget similar to previous years.

The FPS Board of Education unanimously approved a $14,165,526 budget at its meeting Monday night. The budget is bolstered by ESSER Funds, which are federal dollars given to schools to support areas affected by the pandemic. Not counting those funds, the budget increased by 2.2% compared to last year, which is almost identical to the average yearly increase over the last five years.

The board also voted unanimously to approve a property tax levy of $1.03 per $100 of valuation, which is a two-cent decrease from last year. The school district will have a lower tax request for a third straight year.

Superintendent Stephen Grizzle pointed to the addition of a school resource officer and a large increase in classified staff salaries as the biggest changes to the budget. He says the district plans to use the ESSER funds to pay for a second school psychologist, additional 3rd grade teacher, a Chance teacher and a full-time substitute teacher.

Outside of budget topics, the school board approved the purchase of the lot at 1105 7th St. for $8,000. The lot is immediately east across K St. from the ’47 building. Grizzle says this lot, combined with an already purchased adjoining lot, will be paved and turned into a parking lot to help with hosting activities at the ’47 gym.

The school board approved updated language to the dress code for the Jr./Sr. High School. The changes remove language that outlawed “short shorts,” clothes that show a bare midriff and jeans with tears in them. The administration retains the final say in if an outfit fits dress code or not. New Principal Sean Molloy says he recommended the changes in an attempt find the balance between what is appropriate for school and what is currently in style.

Board President Barry Schwab swore in Anna York as the student representative to the board.

The board convenes next for a retreat on September 29th at 6:30 p.m.