|By Alex Ross|
GRANBY- On April 9, the school committee made $287,500 in cuts to their FY08 budget, which will anticipate the costs for the next school year. Expected reductions in Chapter 70 funding by the state to schools throughout the state, as well as an increase in minimum net school spending, and a rise in the annual prorated, costs paid by the school to the community for nonacademic services, rose by 16.55 percent.
The Committee constructed a budget of their own in January, and after receiving the Governor's budget, they subtracted $186,000 from the proposed budget. Cuts were made in: custodial equipment and supplies, reduced Physical Education at the Elementary school level, did away with the position of one Junior high Reading teacher, reducing professional development as well as professional dues and subscriptions, and cut a custodial position by half.
Both houses of the state legislature then submitted their proposed budget for FY08 on April 4, prompting the April 9 round of cuts by the School Committee. Areas affected by this latest round of budget reductions include: reducing the hours of a psychologists at two of the community's schools, cutting "Out of District Tuition", which pays for the education of students with special needs, abolishing the use of lunch room monitors at all three schools, cuts in library supplies as well as textbooks for grades K-12, reducing music at the Elementary School, eliminating the position of one High School Music Theory teacher, cutting kindergarten from four to three sessions, lessening the hours of three custodial staff, and cutting technology support and infrastructure. The positions of: one teacher of Math and Technology as well as a staff member for the remedial reading at West Street were also cut in half.
"If you [look at] the things that have been reduced, I think this will make next year a difficult year," said Patricia Stevens the superintendent of Granby Schools.
`Another $80,000 was appropriated from the $600,000 for school choice to avert the need for additional cuts.
"There's no more rainy days," said School Board member Dr Arthur Krulewitz. " I guess the floods are here."