The Niskayuna Central School District will be postponing offering Universal Pre-Kindergarten for Niskayuna preschoolers this fall.
In May, the district reissued a request for proposals seeking qualified community partners interested in partnering with the district to offer UPK programming. After consultation with the Jewish Community Center, the sole organization which responded to the request for proposals, we have determined that it is too late in the summer to move forward with successfully creating a program for the fall.
The request for proposals was reissued to ensure that it was widely advertised. While we were hopeful that after reissuing the request for proposals we would be able to move forward in time to launch UPK in September 2022, several factors, including budgetary and time constraints, prevent us from doing so.
Due to complications in the state’s UPK funding structure, the state’s per-pupil allocation for low and average need districts like ours appears insufficient to fully fund a UPK program without supplemental funding. The district did not budget funds in our 2022-23 general fund budget for UPK.
Additionally, the length of time it would take to hire teachers and create additional classroom space, will not allow the program to be fully staffed and running at the beginning of the upcoming school year.
We recognize the tremendous value of high-quality pre-school and pre-kindergarten programming for Niskayuna’s families and children and are committed to bringing UPK programming to our community as soon as possible.
We greatly appreciate the Jewish Community Center’s interest in delivering UPK programming and we’ll continue to work with them—and other potential partners—so that we can provide high-quality programming as soon as reasonably possible.
Carl J. Mummenthey
Superintendent of Schools