By Matthew Saari

The Granville Central School District may lay off 11 district employees to compensate for budgetary shortfalls for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The Granville Board of Education met remotely Monday night via Google Meet and immediately convened to an executive session which lasted about 40 minutes.

However, due to a technical error, the meeting continued to be broadcast.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened but it certainly wasn’t intentional,” said Granville schools superintendent Tom McGurl.

During this public executive session, school administrators discussed the key issue facing the district currently – how to plan for an as yet unknown cut to the district’s state aid.

“Nothing has been released by New York State yet,” McGurl said.

At the beginning of the month, McGurl indicated the district’s state aid may be cut by as much as 20%. The current thought process, McGurl said, is to plan for the worst case, which for Granville, coupled with budgetary increases, equates to a nearly $3.6 million shortfall.

To this end, the board discussed potentially laying off 11 district employees, including two high school teachers, a part-time universal pre-K teacher, three teacher’s aides, four monitors and one clerical post.

Additionally, the administration mentioned possibly not backfilling the posts of two retiring teachers, one teacher who left for another district and a special education teacher who did not earn tenure.

Although McGurl did not offer comment on the discussions, indicating though the broadcast was public, the meeting was still technically executive session, he was adamant no action was taken, and noted if the 20% cut doesn’t come to pass, the district can look at bringing some staff back.

Another avenue briefly mentioned was the potentiality of covering the shortfall with the district’s fund balance however McGurl noted “you folks didn’t want to do that.”

The same options discussed Monday night in executive session, McGurl said, will be discussed Tuesday at 7 p.m. in public session, with the Granville school board expected to adopt the proposed budget – and any cuts that come with it – the same evening. If any cuts are adopted, McGurl said the affected personnel will be notified Wednesday morning.

“That would be the first thing I’m doing Wednesday morning,” he said.

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