GUILDERLAND: District mulls aid spending

At a Guilderland Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Jan. 9, Assistant Superintendent of Business Neil Sanders discussed forming a committee to decide how to spend the nearly $2 million in state aid slated for facility improvements.

The state funds are part of the EXCEL (Expanding our Children's Education and Learning) program.

These facilities committees would be formed for the purpose of presenting to the board of education a facilities plan with an emphasis on the needs of the five elementary schools, districtwide instructional technology and to maximize the district's $1.78 million in EXCEL aid that was granted by the state Legislature, said Sanders.

A recommended format for the committee's representatives was presented by Sanders, who would also serve on the committee, as follows: Superintendent Greg Aidala, one board of education member, an elementary school principal, the building and grounds supervisor, a math science supervisor, one member of the Guilderland Office Workers' Association, one member of the Guilderland Teachers Association, and a PTA member.

Board member Barbara Fraterrigo recommended that the committee have two members of the board on it because "inevitably, somebody gets tied up" and can't make every meeting.

Colleen O'Connell agreed, and said, "I think it's important for at least one person to be there."

Citing problems in the past with parents making it to meetings, O'Connell suggested that the parent representative be asked to make a concerted effort to go to every meeting before volunteering for the position.

Fraterrigo suggested that a senior citizen be added to the board for additional input. In response, the board changed the designation of the parent representative position to open it to any community member.

The board tabled the vote on the committee until its next meeting to take more time to consider recommendations.

The committee would begin meeting in the spring, and its recommendations would be presented in June and then reviewed in July and August.

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