School district should reconfigure the process

To the Editor:

Superintendent Marie Wiles’s recent letter outlining the process going forward for the school district capacity use study gives pause for serious concern.

It is my understanding that the study consultant is responsible for planning, facilitating, and reporting on the results of a single focus group of 30 or so attendees, as selected by the school district. Therefore, the only reasonable assumption is that the process will focus on the narrow template study with very limited options and questionable cost savings.

Indeed, the consultant report on page 73 states: “Once the six scenario options are narrowed to a prime set, the further analysis of potential cost saving should be undertaken (emphasis).”

In the spirit of open communication and transparency, the school district should reconfigure the process by first convening open community forums — prior to holding any focus group. These forums, tapping the creativity, knowledge, and experience of the community, should seek public comment on alternative options for achieving verifiable cost savings.

Guilderland school taxpayers deserve no less. If a school closes, many would see a loss in the value of their homes.

If the school district fails to take such action, the Guilderland community as a whole will likely be the loser with unnecessary divisive feelings strewn in the wake.

John E. Smith


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