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South Colonie adopts budget

They are also calling for reductions in evening building monitors, clerical support at the high school, energy costs, transportation and athletics among other areas.

There will be no kindergarten through sixth grade summer school and BOCES Arts in Education and enrichment programs if the proposed budget passes.

In-house arts and music enrichment will be "preserved" according to the district, though.

In the midst of the planned cuts federal lawmakers are discussing a $23 billion education jobs bill from Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Harkin is chairman of the health, education, labor and pensions committee and of the Senate appropriations panel for education initiatives. The "Keep Our Educators Working Act" was introduced on Wednesday, April 14 and both Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand are co-sponsors on the bill.

"This country is about to face a massive wave of layoffs in our schools and institutions of higher learning that could weaken our economic recovery and cause serious damage to our education system," Harkin said. "This bill is an investment in our kids, in our economy and in our future."

Bergen Kenny, a spokesperson for Harkin said hopefully the bill will move through the Senate quickly, as decisions about education are being made now, not in a few months. A corresponding House of Representatives bill was passed in the winter, she said.

"Kids only get an education once," Kenny said. With 320,000 education jobs pending elimination, she said Harkin is concerned for their future. Wall Street and automotive companies were given federal funding, and the education of young people is just as important, Kenny said.

There will be a public hearing on the proposed South Colonie budget at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 4, at Saddlewood Elementary School.

Voting will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 18th, at each of the district's five elementary school buildings.

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