I’m voting in favor of the two propositions on the ballot on Tuesday, January 10. The school district notes that “enrollment from prekindergarten through eighth grade has grown 26 percent – about 1,400 students – over the last eight years. It is forecast to continue to grow well into the next decade.”
Proposition #1 is a $6.5 million package of updates, providing an “equitable learning environment” for students at 50 North Lark Street, in advance of September’s opening of the new middle school to serve students on the city’s north side. About 400 students will attend in the 2017-18 school year. This will reduce crowding in the city’s other middle schools, one of which my child attends.
The facility at 395 Elk Street, the subject of Proposition #2, would become the “new home of the district’s alternative-education programs. If voters approve the purchase Tuesday, the district also would save nearly $170,000 in rent for the remainder of the current school year.”
That building cost $15 million to build when it was constructed as the since-closed Brighter Choice charter school six years ago. “The City School District of Albany’s proposed purchase of the building for $4.1 million represents an investment of just 27 cents on the dollar for an almost-new school building.”
One of the frustrations about living in the city of Albany these past several years has been paying for a number of charter schools that have failed. Those children then have to be reabsorbed into the “traditional” system.
Neither proposal in Albany school district facilities vote “would have any impact on taxes for homeowners or businesses, and both are part of the City School District of Albany’s long-range enrollment and facilities planning. Please visit www.albanyschools.org to read more about both proposals. Polls will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday at 15 voting locations city-wide.”