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GJSD officials concerned of possible transportation cost cuts

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District is expressing deep concern about possible state transportation cuts.

District Superintendent William Crankshaw touched on the situation during the board’s recent online meeting. He didn’t mention figures.

“We won’t be getting transportation aid,” he said. “Our schools are depending on that money.”

On the upcoming budget and personnel, the superintendent stated: “My strategy wants to be early and often as far as communications.”

Advocacy is going to be important in dealing with the state, Crankshaw said. He said school districts are “not in a good place” fiscally. He said it is important to write letters to lobby for education issues.

Crankshaw said state aid is a real concern, as two-thirds of the Johnstown school system’s budget is comprised of state aid.

“Building aid was not cut, but it was deferred,” he said.

Elsewhere in what he referred to as his “lengthy” report to the board, the superintendent said the district this fall held a “virtual meet and greet” involving the revamped Knox Building. He said the discussion centered on staying safe at the building, which now houses several administrative offices.

Crankshaw reported academic intervention efforts have helped at Warren Street Elementary School. He said the school conducted a “math olympiad” event.

Technical education is also being offered at Johnstown Junior-Senior High School, he said.

Warren Street Elementary School also conducted an online scavenger hunt, he reported.

In a separate report, board President Christopher Tallon congratulated the district’s most recent ABCD Award winners, who will be recognized at the board’s next meeting in December.

In regular action, the board passed a resolution approving a proposed Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreement between the district and Yellow 3 LLC.

“This is the solar farm that’s going to be on Route 67 in Johnstown,” Tallon said.

Yellow 3 LLC has a solar energy system project it wants to construct at 2397 Route 67.

The board formally accepted a donation of 350 storage totes from Amazon to be used for COVID-19 storage of student belongings in elementary classrooms.

Board members also accepted the superintendent’s recommendation to approve the district’s corrective action plan as set forth in a Nov. 13 letter to West & Co. CPAs related to a past audit.

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