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Guilderland adopts $91M school budget

Coaching cuts stayed, enrichment cuts made; tax hike set at 3.4 percent

— “I’m certainly sad about some of the things we had to eliminate, primarily elementary enrichment,” O’Connell said. “I think we have been as transparent as we can when we started this in October, and people have been involved.”

O’Connell said listening to public comments helped guide the board’s decisions and she is “hopeful” voters will approve it on May 21.

Other business

Along with the 2013-14 budget, district residents will also vote on bus and equipment purchases totaling around $1 million. The proposition includes purchasing six 66-passenger school buses ($684,000), two 66-passenger school buses with chains ($231,000), two minivans ($43,000) and a commercial gang mower ($55,000). The purchases would be bonded and paid back over five years starting the 2014-15 school year.

Around 50 percent of the bus purchases would be funded through state aid, according to the district. The estimated cost to district homeowners would be around 1.2 cents per $1,000 assessed value. The median home value in the Town of Guilderland, assessed at $246,500, would pay approximately $3.01 per year after state aid reimbursement.

Before adjourning, board members adopted a resolution read during public comment by Guilderland Teachers Association President Maceo Dubose calling for an end to reliance on standardized testing to measure student and teacher performance.

“We need right-sized testing to assess our students in meaningful ways,” Dubose said.

The resolution was drafted by the New York State United Teachers Union and was unanimously approved by board members.

Dubose was pleased the board supported NYSUT’s resolution, which members had previously received before he read it that night.

“It’s great that they want to support the resolution, because I think they recognize … the effect it is having on students, the cost to districts,” Dubose said. “We are all working together, because we want to do what is right for our students.”

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