AASD shelves plan to run own day care program

Board votes against soliciting proposals for staff

The Altoona Area School District has shelved plans to run an in-house day care program at its elementary schools for the time being.

School administrators had proposed establishing the district’s own before- and after-school programs in lieu of leasing classrooms to private companies to do the job because of the possibility of earning six-figure revenue.

On Monday, school board members voted 6-3 against soliciting proposals from companies that would be contracted to provide the day care staff in an Altoona Area-managed program.

Board Vice President Wayne Hippo, Rick Hoover and Bill Ceglar wanted to move forward with getting proposals from companies.

Hippo was disappointed by the 6-3 vote. He stressed that soliciting proposals from day care staffing companies didn’t commit the district to opening a day care but would have given the board more accurate figures to determine if it would be as lucrative as projected.

“To me, it seems like the most responsible thing to do to continue the effort to find out what the real numbers would be. Through the RFP process, we would get those numbers, and in light of our budgetary issues, this was worth looking at,” Hippo said. “That was my hope and goal, but we didn’t get there.”

District administrators provided an analysis several months ago that suggested the district could generate $685,538 per year through operating its own day care and outsourcing the staffing for it.

That revenue estimate was based on drawing 350 students to enroll in a before-school session from 6 a.m. to the start of school, and 350 enrolled after school from dismissal to 6 p.m.

The cost for each session would be $45 per week for 40 weeks.

On Monday, Dave Francis, Amy Irwin-Adams, Ron Johnston, Sharon Bream, Ed Kreuz and Dutch Brennan voted against initiating the request-for-proposal process. Francis voiced his fear of drawing business away from private day care companies if the district were to open its own.

Board President Dutch Brennan was not opposed to the idea but wanted to meet with interested companies before they solicited bids from them.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.