The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Albany School District, like many around the country, both physically since remote learning went into effect, but also monetarily in the form of budget cuts, lay-offs, and the possibility of more on the horizon.

The Albany Public School Teachers’ Association announced Monday that 23 non-tenured probationary positions were eliminated. According to the article in Spectrum News, the positions cut covered all grades from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Currently, the Albany School District, like most districts in the state and the country, is looking at a budget gap that seems to be growing. The Albany School District budget gap is about $15 million and the school district is looking at all areas for additional reductions in the future.

In the Niskayuna Central School District, a proposal to freeze all salaries for the coming year was rejected by the Union. Niskayuna is now looking at budget cuts as well as cutting more than 35 positions according to The Times Union.

Albany cut 50 school crossing guards on Friday due to budget cuts as the city tries to reduce the workforce to just essential employees. Plus, the crossing guards were getting paid, and obviously kids weren't walking to school. Cutting those positions will save the city about $40,000 a month as reported by Steve Hughes.

 These staff reductions and budget cuts are happening all over the country. My wife is a special education teacher in the Capital Region and her job future is uncertain as well in today's climate. However, remote learning might open the doors to new opportunities that no one could have imagined before the pandemic. Of course, that might just be my eternal optimism talking.
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