Guilderland voters passed the school district's $87.4 million budget for the 2010-11 school year. The budget represents a 2.49 percent increase over last year's budget and will have a tax impact of a 3.59 percent increase on the district resident's school tax.
I'm very pleased, very pleased indeed, said Superintendent John McGuire. McGuire said that the Guilderland community has traditionally put a high value on education and that he is appreciative that the community continued that support by voting in favor of the budget.
The enacted budget for next school years comes in at $68,000 less than the budget McGuire proposed in early March, and includes the restoration of a number of programs and positions that were previously eliminated. The less expensive budget, along with the restorations were made possible by each teacher giving up a days pay for a total of $220,000, the elimination of freshman sports for a savings of $73,000 and delaying the repayment of a bond that will temporarily save the district $1,150,000.
The budget still includes the elimination of 56 full-time equivalent positions including 10 teaching, 24 teaching assistant, three supervisor, and 19 non-instructional positions. The School Board and Guilderland Chamber of Commerce are currently working on a means by which the eliminated sports programs could be funded by private donations.
District residents were drawn to the polls for a number of reasons, Jim Schermerhorn, a parent of three students in the district said that voting in favor of the budget was an investment in his children. "I have children in the school district and I wanted to support the budget," said Schermerhorn. "I know it's a tough year and the budget seemed reasonable given the lack of fundingit's an investment in my children."
County Legislator Mary Lou Donnelly said she voted for the budget because of the importance of education in the future of this country. "I always vote. I always vote for the school budget because education is the tool for the future of this country," she said.