ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Friday marked the last full day for over 200 employees within the City School District of Albany. The breakdown of the staffing reductions include 13 administrators, 51 classroom teachers, 55 teaching assistants and 46 hall monitors.
Back in August, schools were notified that if the state did not receive federal funding, the impending 20% cuts in school aid could become permanent. Superintendent Kaweeda Adams said for Albany City Schools, a 20% reduction in Foundation Aid is about $16.5 million.
Adams said a district their size has to be able to think down the line and plan accordingly.
“We can’t just keep moving forward without knowing where those funds are coming from or if they’re coming. So by withholding the funds, we truly understand that that’s something the state needed to do, but we also need to make sure that we are planning for what we need as well because should those funds not come to us, then there are deeper cuts down the line that we would experience,” said Adams.
Adams said no one school in particular was affected more than another, but there will be changes made to the Albany International Center and the Tony Clement Center for Education.
“We have embedded those and restructured those in a school within a school model, especially for our Albany International Center,” said Adams.
Adams said, in the event they do end up receiving the funding, they would have to take a strategic approach in how they go about handling that.
“It’s more than just turning that switch back on. We have to rebuild students’ schedules; we have to rebuild those programs. So we have to put that structure back in place so that we can see what are those positions that would need to come back,” said Adams.
In the meantime, she said they continue to advocate for a “sliding-scale model” so that high-need districts are no longer disproportionately affected by reductions.
NEWS10 ABC reached out to the State Division of Budget for a response to the cuts, and spokesman Freeman Klopott released the following statement:
“As we’ve said, there have been no permanent spending cuts and only 1% of annual school aid has been temporarily withheld – 0.3% , or $789,000, of the Albany school district budget – and going forward any actions will take district need into account. Until we have clarity on the amount of federal assistance the state will receive, it is premature for the State to make any permanent spending reductions, at which point all options would be considered to limit the impacts of a federal failure to act and offset the State’s $62 billion, four-year revenue loss.”
The Albany City School District provided the following breakdown of district staffing reductions: 222.1 total
- Administrator — 13.4
- Classroom teacher — 51.5
- Teaching assistant — 55
- Social-emotional support staff — 10.5
- Maintenance — 9
- Hall monitors — 46
- Clerical — 12
- Non-classroom professional — 18.7
- Home school coordinators — 6
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