Will Penn Yan School Board be reduced?

Superintendent Howard Dennis
Special to The Chronicle-Express

School board to circulate petitions to propose reducing seats from nine to seven. Proposed budget details still in question before tonight's meeting.

PENN YAN – At its March 3 meeting, the Penn Yan Central School District Board of Education dealt with a number of normal business matters, but there were some items that stand out as important and significant for the community to be aware of.  

Reducing board seats

The Board has decided to move forward with collecting enough signatures from the community to put a proposition before the voters in May for them to consider reducing the number of Board of Education members from nine to seven.  By law, a Board of Education can be made up of nine, seven, or five members.  There is no true rule about what configuration you should have for your district, it is left up to the local community to decide.  

Penn Yan has had nine members for many years.  As time has gone on, the population has decreased and people have become busier, it has become increasingly difficult to get people to run for the Board.  Board service is totally volunteer and can become time consuming at various times of the year.  The voters will have the opportunity to decide in May if they support reducing the size of the Board of Education from nine to seven members, if enough signatures are obtained on the petitions. 

Budget

The Board also had discussion surrounding the proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year.  This must be adopted by the Board in April for the May vote by the community.  At this point, there are still many unknowns concerning State Aid amounts. Hopefully, further clarification can come soon so that the draft budget can be finalized. The Board will conduct a budget workshop before the next Board meeting March 17.  

Board election

The Board of Education will also have four seats up for election in May: three 3-year terms and one 1-year term.  Petitions may be obtained at the District Office Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Sports

Fall II Sports have begun, including the new Penn Yan/Dundee football team and cheer squad.  Volleyball has also begun.  Winter sports, basketball, and wrestling are wrapping up their shortened seasons over the next couple of weeks.  

Praises

Kudos and thanks were given to the faculty and staff who have stepped up and gone above and beyond to allow Penn Yan to be one of the few districts in the area to be fully open, in-person, five days per week since September. 

Howard Dennis is superintendent of the Penn Yan Central School District.

Penn Yan School Superintendent Howard Dennis