TIOGA CENTER — The Tioga Central School District’s 2020-2021 budget was approved by residents by a 693-135 vote last week.

The vote came after months of adjustments prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The approved budget was for $18,452,924, just over $856,000, or 4.4 percent less, than the one initially approved in February.

“That’s the one we went out on and the one the community approved,” Superintendent David Hamilton said.

Tioga Central was facing a loss of up to $2.1 million in State Foundation Aid in addition to cuts to education funding made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April.

In addition to the budget for next school year, the board also approved contractors for a construction project this summer.

The district will be replacing two sections of the roof at the elementary school.

“They’ve been giving us problems with leaking,” Hamilton said. “We want to replace them before we start having damage to the classrooms.”

Hamilton also said that the district has begun making plans for the 2020-21 school year.

“We are hoping we can get some guidance from the state as to what sort of requirements (there will be) to bring our students back on campus,” he said. “That’s our task now, is starting to plan for the future.”

At the May board meeting, Hamilton highlighted the need for proper social distancing and constant disinfection of surfaces as some of the major challenges.

Hamilton noted the challenges and successes of the previous school year as well.

“We finished the school year,” he said. “We had all of our students graduate, which was tremendous given what we all went through with the pandemic and the remote learning. But we got all those students over the finish line, which is very exciting.”

Ryan Sharp can be reached at rsharp@morning-times.com or (570) 888-9463 ext. 231. Follow @RealRyanSharp on Twitter.

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