Full-day K back in play for Guilderland

Some members of the budget committee said they were worried the full-day kindergarten program will be too expensive down the road.

Full-day kindergarten will cost an estimated $568,435 per year, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders.

There was initially the possibility of state start-up funding for the program, but because the district pulled its proposal for the program due to the slumping economy, it will not receive that funding this year. Sanders said, though, it could still be a possibility next year.

The full-day program would add nine additional teachers and another 1.7 special area teachers.

McGuire said the "assumption" is that the restorative aid will be able to go toward full-day kindergarten, although that has not been confirmed yet.

Committee members discussed how to ensure students receive the most with the resources the district has.

One member, Allan Simpson, spoke in favor of finding creative solutions to the financial woes school districts are facing.

"Turn over every stone and see what's there," he said. "We're in very, very tough economic times."

He said even a 1.5 percent tax increase is too much to ask of residents.

He said the teacher's assistants are taking the brunt of the cuts, and many of them work extremely hard for the $9 an hour they get paid.

He suggested that construction costs at the schools be cut in order to save jobs.

Dave Langenbach, a citizens budget advisory member, said his situation is indicative of the tough times faced by district residents, and he is supporting a budget that favors the taxpayer.

Langenbach was a bus driver in the district for 17 years and said he is afraid he may lose his home because of the magnitude of the economic climate.

"I'm that guy. I'm one of those people who fall into that category," he said. "These are real issues that affect real people."

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