GRANBY — The School Committee approved its fiscal year 2025 operating budget of $9,847,099 during its April 9 meeting, just over a 3% increase from last year.

Superintendent Stephen Sullivan said he and the committee have been consistent in saying this will be a tight budget but credited the leadership team of the district to minimize impact. Sullivan referenced that when looking at last year’s process they came to around the same number of cuts in the budget, about $700,000 in each year.

“That is back-to-back years of pretty significant reductions. We’ve been fortunate to minimize the impact on staffing to an extent, but there are places we’ve talked about throughout this. Music being one, where we haven’t been able to build things back into the budget that were eliminated from last year or this current year budget,” Sullivan said. “We’ve said all along that our budget is built on projections and things change and sometimes things work in our advantage and sometimes against us.”

He added the total amount of the operating budget is anticipated being $12,015,508 but the ask of the town from the ultimate vote is the $9,847,099.

School Committee Chair Jennifer Bartosz credited Sullivan and Director of Finance and Operations Todd Dorman for all the work they did in preparing this budget proposal and for working through tough cuts.

“I mean $700,000 of cuts is awful but it’s not as awful as it could be where districts surrounding us are announcing huge layoffs, so job well done,” Bartosz said.

Sullivan said the district has been operating cautiously when budgeting the last few years and hopes the hard work can pay off.

“We’ve tried to be thoughtful both about short term and long term, and the impact of all these decisions that we’re having. I think there are some things that either are not in this budget, were removed from the budget, or we weren’t able to build back in that people continue to feel, but I also think we’ve been creative in some of our problem solving that has minimized the impact in some areas that we could have seen further reduction,” Sullivan said.

The proposed budget approved by the School Committee will now go to the town in preparation for Town Meeting. A recording for the public hearing on the committee’s proposed FY25 budget can be viewed on the Granby Media YouTube channel.

Sullivan leaving district, search committee forming

Also discussed during the meeting was the formation of a Superintendent Search Committee as Sullivan announced he will be joining the Greenfield school district as its assistant superintendent of teaching and learning.

Leading the committee’s discussion was Bartosz who went over the final list of how many people they were searching for to join this committee and from what backgrounds they could be from to create the best search team.

Sullivan took over as superintendent in 2020 following the stepping down of previous Superintendent Sheryl Stanton. Sullivan was principal of Granby Jr./Sr. High School at the time, his second stint as a principal after being the head at Holyoke High School.

Sullivan began his career in education as a teacher at Dean Tech in Holyoke for eight years before eventually earning his administrative license and beginning his career as a principal and eventually superintendent. He begins his new role with Greenfield in July.

“It was a difficult decision and bittersweet in many ways, but I am looking forward to it,” Sullivan said on the new position.

tlevakis@thereminder.com | + posts