School budget options frowned upon in Niskayuna

Niskayuna High School
Niskayuna High School
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Updated: 12/04/2013 5:58 am

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. – Many parents expressed their disapproval at the school board meeting Tuesday with the suggestions presented to them by a committee on how the Niskayuna School District should be reconfigured.

Members of the school board along with the Facilities Utilization Advisory Committee presented potential solutions to help close a budget gap the board noticed last spring.

After five months of brain storming, the committee came up with six recommendations to reconfigure the school district. Three of those six options remain.

Option one involves closing one of the five elementary schools and leaves the two middle schools alone.

The second option would close one elementary school and split up the grades between Van Antwerp and Iroquois Middle Schools.

The third would close Van Antwerp Middle School and create a “middle school campus” with Rosendale Elementary and Iroquois Middle School.

All three options would require some form of redistricting or redrawing of school boundaries.

Parents were at Tuesday’s meeting, and many, including Jennifer Sargents, did not like the options they were presented.

“It’s frustrating that we have to close one of our schools but at the same time want to maintain programs for our kids,” she said.

One committee member admitted that developing a new budget plan was not easy.

“I don’t think we were able to come up with the perfect solution,” he said.

Sargents said, “I don’t particularly like any of the options.”

Many speakers at the meeting agreed with Sargents, including one who said, “We do not want ten pounds of potatoes in a five pound sack.”

But one of the options could be the solution to closing the multi-million dollar gap.

“There isn’t a solution out there that would make everyone happy,” the committee member said. 

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