Board OKs budget

T he Granville Board of Education passed its 2012-2013 budget Monday night, moving it ahead to the voters, and students at Granville Junior/Senior High School got an unexpected bonus out of it.

Earlier this month, the state increased its aid to the district by $219,898, and while the majority of that will go to decrease the amount the district takes from its fund balance, part of it will go to restore a guidance position at the junior/senior high.

This year, the school has been operating with two guidance counselors, one for grades seven to nine and another for grades 10 to 12. A third guidance counselor, who left for another position after last year, was not replaced.

“We did our best to get by,” said first-year principal James Donnelly. “I think this will help a lot.”

The final budget looks similar to the one presented for public comment last month. While spending is up 2.23 percent, partly owing to the elimination of federal aid, business manager Cathy Somich said there is no levy increase. The assessment is expected to be $14.84 per thousand of value of the home or business. Many sites were re-evaluated this year.

“That part is out of our hands,” Superintendent Mark Bessen said. “We have done the best we can on our side.

The vote on the budget, and on four school board seats, will be Tuesday, May 15.

Total expenditures in the budget are $24,585,875, which is up $537,321, or 2.2 percent. The numbers are the same for revenues after the district uses $1.33 million from the fund balance for the budget.

The only item not yet completed is the state-required teacher evaluation program. If that program, which must include the use of student test scores in evaluations, is not in place by next February, the district stands to lose $500,000. Bessen said he is working with the teachers union on that topic.

 

In other business

Several concerns came up during the meeting. John McDermott continued to express dismay about the continuing losses in the cafeteria. The February loss was $8,800. “Something has to be done here,” McDermott said.

Somich said that after the budget season is over, she will be getting together with other school officials and will make a presentation regarding the cafeteria, new regulations and ways to avoid the losses. She said the February loss stems largely from the fact there are fewer school days that month, which makes it harder for the cafeteria to make a profit.

Board members also tabled a request by the yearbook to sign with Joestens for another year. Several board members said they remember having issues in the past, including last year, when far too many yearbooks were ordered. Donnelly said he will discuss the situation with the yearbook staff and will report back to the board.

The board voted to hire Richard Behrens, a retired educator, as interim director of special education, effective March 21. He will be paid $375 per day. Behrens was hired after Diane Quick left the position to become director of technology.

The board voted to grant tenure to special education teacher Ann Brustkern. “We’re happy to have her,” Bessen said. “She really connects well with the kids.”

The next board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, April 23, in the school library.

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