OLEAN – City School District Superintendent Colleen Taggerty recommended to the School Board on Tuesday night that the district, which currently offers a full-day prekindergarten program, return to a half-day program.
The Early Reading First Grant, which is offered through federal channels, had funded the full-day pre-K program for the past four years, but that grant has expired.
“Due to budget constraints, the recommendation [to the board] is to return to a half-day program,” Taggerty said.
“To keep a full-day program would mean the general operating portion of the budget would need to be increased by over $230,000, or further reductions would need to be done in other areas.”
Teachers in favor of maintaining a full-day program were at the meeting to present their case.
Also Tuesday, board members voted on resolutions to move forward with preparing propositions to sell property no longer viable for school upkeep. The propositions will have to be voted on by district residents at the annual budget vote.
The propositions call for selling:
• A 25-foot-by-195-foot section of land at 402 N. Seventh St. to Mazza Mechanical Services Inc. for $9,000. The strip of land is next to the business and is no longer needed by the district for parking.
• The former Boardmanville Elementary School at 644 Main St. to Steve Pancio, Michele Pancio and George Pancio for $251,101. The property includes about 2.25 acres, with 251 feet of frontage along Main and 400 feet of frontage along Hamilton Avenue. The property also includes the former elementary school building.
• The former Ivers J. Norton Elementary School at 421 W. Henley St. to Community Bank, N.A., for $251,001.
The funds from the sale of both former elementary schools would be placed in the district’s general fund.
In addition to the propositions, two open seats on the Board of Education will be on the ballot. The terms of Daniel Harris and James Padlo are set to end June 30. They have not yet said whether they will seek re-election.
Also on the ballot is the school budget, which will be presented at a public session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Olean High School cafeteria.