Fresno Unified passes budget with $17M in new funds

FRESNO, Calif.

The Fresno Unified School Board voted 6 to 1 in favor of passing a nearly billion dollar budget for the upcoming school year. About $17 million in additional resources will be used to expand preschool and kindergarten, increase programs in music and performing arts in middle schools -- and hire full time counselors, athletic, and activity directors at secondary schools.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're incredibly excited about what we've done so far and the unique position Fresno Unified, the fourth largest district in our state, is in right now to seize the moment moving forward," said Michael Hanson, Fresno Unified Superintendent.

The money will also be used to transition to higher standards for student achievement, improve high school facilities, and reduce classroom sizes in grades four through 12.

Measure Q funding for Bullard High School was also discussed at the meeting. At one time the funds seemed to be in jeopardy. However, Wednesday the board approved the Bullard Facilities Master Plan by 6 to 1 -- as recommended by Superintendent Michael Hanson. $35 million would be spent on facility expansions and new classrooms -- among other things.

Measure Q was approved by voters in 2010.

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