Reconfiguration vote expected in Niskayuna School Board meeting

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Updated: 2/04 11:02 pm

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. -Birchwood Elementary School has been saved, for at least another year. The Niskayuna School Board of Education voted 7-0 to table the vote for next year. They say no schools will close in the 2014-2015 school year. 

The vote would come after years of discussion and meetings about the possible closing of Birchwood Elementary. The most recent board meetings have been packed with concerned parents. 

David Apkarian, a concerned parent, said "I'm hoping they will make a decision that the whole community will embrace."

The Niskayuna School District has been under financial stress due to a lack of state aid funding and a rise in pension costs. School officials said reconfiguring the school district and cutting jobs will help bridge the budget gap they've been experiencing the past five years.

Tiffanie Wood said "It doesn't make sense to me to close that school. It's like putting a band aid on a giant wound."

Apkarian thinks the Niskayuna community needs to try harder before closing a school to save just over $400,000 and transferring more than 500 students.

"So I think we need to take a long term view and come up with alternative solutions for the district to raise money," he said.

Birchwood second grader Emily Wood said she loves her school.

She came to the board meeting to show her homemade sign and support for keeping Birchwood open.

"I don't think they should close it either, because I think they should close one of the bigger schools because it's harder for the little ones to go to different schools," said Emily.

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