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GCSD: More money, same problems

Additional state aid will be used to cover increasing BOCES costs, gap nearly unchanged

Guilderland students who have taken the “X program,” combing history and English, urge school board members on to not cut the course on Tuesday, April 1. The course was targeted because it requires two teachers for each classroom.

Guilderland students who have taken the “X program,” combing history and English, urge school board members on to not cut the course on Tuesday, April 1. The course was targeted because it requires two teachers for each classroom. Photo by John Purcell.

— “They certainly couldn’t go another year dramatically underfunding programs,” Wiles said. “I don’t know what the catalyst was to begin the process when they did.”

BOCES enrollment has dropped, according to Wiles, which increased the costs per students. She added staff has also been reduced and, similar to school districts, the least senior staff are laid off first.

“You have fewer staff, but they are your most expensive staff because they are higher on the salary scale,” Wiles said.

Board Vice President Allan Simpson questioned what other options the district has instead of using BOCES.

“I don’t think we can afford to take someone else’s extra cost especially when we are seeing shrinking revenues,” Simpson said. “There has got to be another solution.”

Wiles said she proposed to area superintendents that the region have a “meaningful conversation” about programming available to students with disabilities.

“I think what we are experiencing in Guilderland is not atypical,” Wiles said. “We have more students with complexities who are not good fits for the programs that we have. I think BOCES is in a similar type of position.”

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