"I've seen firsthand the services that have been provided in my classroom," said Slingerlands Elementary teacher Colleen Sieme. "We all know early intervention is important.
Levay said this work will still be done, and because of certification issues COTAs did have to be supervised, creating staffing issues.
"It's not the perfect solution, but it's the solution I think we've come up with," Levay said.
The district is making the tentative budget cuts in hopes of lessening the impact of the year-to-year budget gap. If the district were to maintain the same program as offered this year, the increase in expenses and decrease in revenues (including a proposed $2.5 million reduction in state aid to the district) would present officials with a gap of almost $4 million. Taxpayers would face a 7 percent tax levy hike if the 2010-11 budget were not cut back.
Officials spoke Wednesday of the difficulty of approving such cuts.
"None of this is easy, from the administration's standpoint or the school board's standpoint," Board of Education President James Dering said. "We're trying to find the best that we can do with the money we're going to have."
The district is continuing to examine facility usage fees, and took a look at a tentative fee schedule that would see slight fee increases across the board for facility use by community groups.
At the previous week's budget workshop, the board had examined a proposal to close the Middle School pool to save on maintenance and energy use. Several members of the Delmar Dolfin Swim Team said they'd rather pay higher fees than no longer have the pool available for use.
The tentative fee schedule has the pool rental fees jumping from $15 to $50 per hour, the largest increase out of all facilities. The board will revisit the fee structure on March 24.