Other voters approached the budget with a sense of confusion. "It was originally announced that $4 million was cut from the budget, and the budget increased 3 percent and I was wondering 'how was that," said Stuart Gang, a Guilderland resident. "I would like them to be consistent."
David Bilicki, a Guilderland resident whose kids used to attend school in the district, said he voted no on the budget because he felt additional sacrifice was needed from the schools given the economic climate. "It's with very deep regret, and the first time I ever voted against a school budget," he said.
"We are being asked as individuals to sacrifice and now I think that transcends individuals," said Bilicki.
He said that most of his savings were lost in the economic downturn on Wall Street and that although the economic has peaks and valleys over time, he said he does not see too many peaks in the future. "As one individual, I have to manage my resources now more than ever," said Bilicki.
The budget was formed with the assumption that the school district will see a $2.6 million reduction in state aid, as is proposed in the governor's budget. The Senate's version of the budget upheld the governor's reduction and the Assembly's version lessened the impact, however, as of yet the two houses of the legislature and the governor have yet to agree on a state spending plan.
McGuire said that if the financial situation of the school district improves, whether through state aid or other means, the decision of what to do with the money would be up to the school board. "It would either be used in one of two ways, to lower the tax rate and/or put in the rainy day fund," he said.
McGuire said that the board could chose to dedicate the entirety of additional funds to the tax rate or rainy day fund, or it could chose to split the money between the two. He said the board could not add the money to the budget to add or restore programs and staff.