GROVE CITY – Grove City school board members on Monday night approved the pr eliminary budget for the 2020-21 school year.

“There’s no tax increase in this budget,” board President Lee McCracken said.

The motion passed unanimously. Dr. Constance Nichols was absent.

Property taxes are expected to remain at 63.98 mills. Taxes last went up for the 2018-19 school year, when they increased by 1.98 mills.

The board has until June 30 to adopt a final budget, McCracken said.

In the meantime, they’ll be working on the spending plan, which carries a deficit of $1,276,916. Current revenues are $40,615,599, and expenses, $41,892,515.

He said he expects changes over the next month based on new information about state funding that will be forthcoming.

While it’s possible that the state extends its own budget deadline because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no indication that the budget deadline will be extended for schools, said Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch.

But if the state does approve an extension for school districts, McCracken said he’d recommend taking advantage of it, adding that his biggest concern is a possible delay in the completion of the state budget.

“We have to do the best we can and be prepared,” he said.

Board Vice President Ryan Thomas asked what would happen if they don’t pass a final budget in June.

The district wouldn’t be able to conduct business or pay bills, said Andrew Evankovich, the district’s solicitor.

Thomas suggested the board consider pushing back its June meetings closer to the end of the month so that they have more time to adopt the final budget.

The board could also schedule a special budget meeting, said board member J. Scott Somora.

As of right now, the board will host these virtual meetings, which start at 7 p.m.: standing committees and work session on June 1, and voting meeting on June 8.

Visit www.grovecity.k12.pa.us for details on how to listen to the meetings via phone, or participate through Zoom video.

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