From left: Guilderland Central School District Superintendent Marie Wiles, Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion and Guilderland Public Library Director Barbara Nichols Randall all spoke at the Guildelrand State-of-The-Town address, sponsored by the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce.
continued “We are genuinely thankful to all of the people who participated last winter and spring in our community conversations about our spending plan,” said Wiles. “We are continuing and expanding that approach in the current cycle.”
“The school district spent some time last spring and this fall reexamining its mission and vision and as a result, the board adopted new visions and goals to guide all of our work”, said Wiles.
Wiles outlined the district’s mission to the community and its students, and told the crowd how the district will be meeting that charge in the future, especially in tough fiscal times.
“We are in the process of developing a budget that meets the needs of our students and stays within the tax levy limit,” Wiles said.
The estimated tax levy limit increase for the coming year is 2.57 percent, leaving an estimated $3.3 million revenue shortfall.
Wiles concluded with an optimistic note. “The financial pain we are in provides an opportunity to define what we really need,” she said.
Mike Horelick, a town resident, raised a question for Wiles. He noted that on a trip to England many young people were more fluent in languages other than their own, and he asked what Wiles saw as the trend in the U.S. regarding foreign language education.
Wiles responded that Guilderland values foreign language learning and the community should keep pressure on the education system to promote foreign language study. Guilderland offers four languages but had to discontinue foreign language at the elementary level due to budget restrictions.
Public Library Director Barbara Nichols Randall addressed the state of the Guilderland Public Library.
“If I had to choose one phrase to describe the library it would be ‘jam-packed.’” said Randall with an air of excitement. “In the past year we have squeezed more materials, programs and people into the Library than in any previous year.”