Long Beach residents on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the school district’s $144 million budget — which does not increase taxes — re-elected one Board of Education trustee and added a newcomer.
The vote for the budget was 1,115-245.
The spending plan is about $500,000 smaller than the current budget. The district is also expecting an increase in state aid of more than $1.3 million, and has received an extra $600,000 in foundation aid.
Incumbent school board Trustee Sam Pinto was re-elected, and challenger Alexis Pace was also elected, both to three-year terms, defeating another challenger, Pamela Banks. Pinto collected 937 votes, Pace, 759, and Banks, 618. Turnout was much lower than last year.
“I appreciate everyone’s confidence in my service to the community . . .,” Pinto said. “I want to continue on my path of leadership and advocacy of the district, and work to continue to deliver a healthy and enriching program with the rest of the school administration.”
Pinto congratulated Pace on her win and thanked Banks for running. He added that he thought the district was moving forward in a healthy way, and he was happy to continue on that path.
Pace could not be reached for comment on Wednesday before the Herald went to press, but expressed her gratitude on social media on Tuesday night. “O.M.G. Thank you Long Beach for putting your trust in me . . . we did it!” she wrote on Facebook. “I truly look forward to serving as your newest Board of Ed member!”
Pace will take over the seat held by current school board President Tina Posterli, who is seeking a seat on the Long Beach City Council.
By a vote of 1,115-218, residents also approved a proposition to spend about $4.9 million of the district capital reserve fund to make improvements to district properties. Some of the “Priority 1” projects include tennis court resurfacing at the middle school, drainage work at the high school and exterior renovation at the bus garage.
The Long Beach Public Library’s $3.6 million budget was also approved, and Anita Laspina was elected to a five-year term on the library’s board of trustees.