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By Matthew Saari

There were only a handful of questions on the proposed budget for the Granville Central School District.

The Granville Board of Education conducted a public hearing remotely Monday night, allowing the public to comment and question the district’s tentative $26,136,086 spending plan for 2020-2021.

Granville superintendent Tom McGurl

“There were a couple of questions from the public regarding programs,” said Granville schools superintendent Tom McGurl.

In a bid to keep the tax levy flat and anticipating potential cuts in state aid, the district’s budget includes a reduction in staffing amounting to 11.5 positions – including 6.5 teachers. Because of the proposed cuts, McGurl said, the questioners were concerned school academic programs would also suffer.

McGurl clarified that the district’s academics are for the most part continuing as in prior years, with only one class being removed and that because of low enrollment.

Specifically, in the field of technology, the district is actually adding two new courses – introduction to computer science and nanotechnology. The only reduction is the removal of design and drawing for production.

“That’s really the only one that’s a loss,” said McGurl, adding that Project Lead the Way, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program, a stipend position, is also continuing.

One of the teaching positions being cut is a foreign language post, McGurl confirmed, but he emphasized no language courses will be cut.

Lastly, the 6.5 figure stems from one part-time universal pre-K teacher being cut. The district is planning on the same amount of UPK “sections” – three – and, to cover the eliminated position is repurposing an Academic Intervention Services (AIS) teacher to split her time between the two assignments.

In addition to the staffing cuts, the district is utilizing $2 million of its fund balance. At the time of the budget presentation, the district’s fund balance stood at about $6 million.

No amendments were made to the district’s spending plan following the public hearing, McGurl said.

“The budget as presented is how we’re moving forward,” he said.

Due to social distancing guidelines in place, this year’s budget and Board of Education vote will be conducted by absentee ballot, with the ballots needing to be at the district office no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. Earlier this week district clerk Ashlee Zinn reported a shortage of envelopes due to high statewide demand.

“They should have them, if not tomorrow, then the next day,” McGurl said on Tuesday.

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