A Colonie family accused the North Colonie Board of Education Thursday, July 22, of ruining their lives for not funding their daughter's tuition to change high schools, but later that night, the board reversed its decision
At a special meeting of the board, Patti and Don Clickner expressed frustration over their daughter Brittanie not being allowed to transfer from Shaker Junior High School to join her sister, Chelsie, at Watervliet High School during the meeting. They said an assurance in the annexation referendum stated that if a family has a history of attending either North Colonie, Cohoes or Watervliet, the North Colonie school district would fund the transfer from an outside school. Both Clickner parents had attended Watervliet.
"This kid doesn't know which way to go," Patti Clickner said during her testimony at the board meeting. "She's made the best out of it."
In October 2007, residents in both Maplewood and North Colonie voted in favor of an annexation of the two schools, which would bring in $30 million in Operating Incentive Aid from the state over the next 14 years. Through the merger, Maplewood became a kindergarten-through-sixth-grade school, forcing students in seventh and eighth grade to attend Shaker Junior High School.
"We followed the rules, and she [Brittanie] went [to Shaker] for two years," she said. "She misses her sister; she has friends at both places, and she's really torn right now."
Board President Mary Nordolillo said that the students were not required to go to Shaker at the time of the time of the annex and said that there was a big misunderstanding with the assurance.
"You have to petition to attend any of these schools [i.e. Watervliet]," Nordolillo said. "They were allowed to petition, but this did not say they would be granted their request."
Patti, a former member of the board, was involved in the drafting of the annexation, a fact that surprised Nordolillo about the misunderstanding.