Pre-Season Sale! $259 per ton - Premium Wood Pellets, Delivery Available - Curtis Lumber

By Jay Mullen

Granville’s Board of Education has decided to locally fund the school’s Universal Pre-kindergarten program if the state does not allocate the necessary funds.

At the moment there has been no state funding allocated to school districts throughout the state for Universal Pre-kindergarten (UPK) programs, according to Granville school superintendent Thomas McGurl.

UPK programs are normally state-funded and are designed specifically for four-year-olds who are not yet eligible for kindergarten.

At the school board meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, McGurl informed the board that if no funding comes in they will either have to pull the plug on the program or fund it locally.

He also told the board that he believes the funding will come from the state, but a decision still needs to be made just in case.

“If you decide that, ‘hey listen, we just don’t think we should be using fund balance in that kind of quantity for this year,’ I think we need to let parents know that,” McGurl said.

If the board were to opt out of funding the program locally and no funding comes in, then there would be no UPK for this upcoming year.

Granville superintendent Tom McGurl

Funding the program locally would include the supplies necessary to run the program, which would be roughly $5,000, and salaries and benefits for the employees which would come to about $135,000, McGurl said.

The district has the funds to make it happen. According to the board those numbers are roughly what the cost will end up being.

If the aid funding does come in it would cover $126,500 of the total cost, according to the board.

There are already 36 students registered for the UPK program, according to Mary J. Tanner School principal Paul Marcone.

“This year with COVID it allows two sections of a.m. and two sections of p.m. with nine students in a classroom,” Marcone said.

Usually the program allows for more students and fewer sections but because of the pandemic, changes had to be made, Marcone said.

He also said there is a waiting list of those whose application for enrollment came after the deadline.

Board member Edward Vladyka brought up the Head Start program and asked if it was similar enough to UPK to replace it for the year. Marcone said that Head Start sets the students up socially, but UPK is that next step academically for the young students.

McGurl informed the board that the funds they have in the budget are supposed to be used for emergencies, and if they choose not to fund the program locally it could receive negative reactions from the community.

“This is what we have a fund balance for,” he said. “It is hard to make the argument that we hold a fund balance for emergencies, and then when an emergency comes up we say ‘we’re not going to use our fund balance.’”

When board president Aubrey Hicks asked the members of the board if they wanted to go ahead with the UPK program given the money that was quoted to them, board member Molly Celani spoke up in support of locally funding the program.

“I think that it’s an important feature that we are able to offer our kids,” she said.

Hicks polled the board to see if McGurl could go in the direction of funding UPK locally through their funds. All members said yes.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Women business owners learning to be successful

Female business owners 6x4

By Austin Crosier Four female business owners in the Granville area sat down at the bar at On The Rocks […]

Poultney makerspace and skills center to open Sept. 26


A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and […]

North Country FreePress, September 25, 2020

Lakes Region FreePress, September 25, 2020

Chasin’ Racin’ – Great Race Place

Chasin Racin #20

By Mark Kane It was great to get back to the racing action at the “Great Race Place” Albany Saratoga […]

Granville Sentinel 9.24.20

Police Beat, Sept. 24

Granville Police Department Sept. 10 3:36 p.m. Benje C. Larico of New York City was ticketed for speeding on North […]

Whitehall Times 9.24.20

Everyone Eats arrives in Poultney

Everyone Eats

The Poultney Rotary Club and Young at Heart Senior Center have teamed up with the Vermont Farmer’s Food Center, the […]

School district awaits insurance claim


By Jay Mullen Whitehall Central School District is still waiting for the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal to give them […]

‘Car cruise’ to replace car show

By Austin Crosier The consequences of COVID-19 have forced people of all walks of life to change gears and improvise […]

Pub on Main Street hires new head chef

Owner Vicky Hale poses for the camera behind the bar.

By Austin Crosier After being located across the bridge at 1 West Main Street in Granville since 2016, Vicky Hale […]