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Tax Cap Will Not Change Elmsford's School Programs

ELMSFORD, NY -- In light of the tax cap legislation passing, the Elmsford Union Free School District says it is committed to not letting any repercussions affect the students.

The district is uncertain about what changes they will have to make to their programs, said acting business official Bob Celente. The cuts depend on the state of pensions and healthcare at the time of the legislation's implementation in 2012-2013.

"You don't want to touch your primary mission," he said. "The goal is to really educate the students in the various areas that are planned. What's the point of cutting back or cutting out math if that's a required course in high school? You can't touch that. Those kinds of things are a last ditch effort."

However, if pushed to make changes due to budget and tax cap restraints, the district plans to look into eliminating modified sport, changing kindergarten back to a half-day, reducing positions and cutting back on new material and equipment purchases.

"It's difficult to make the judgment at this point in time," said Celente. "It's really difficult to assess where you would go about reducing budget. And in the last three years, we've taken a number of actions to reduce budget."

As is the case with several other schools nationwide, the Elmsford Union Free School District was forced to reduce some of their more creative classes. Music was cut back by 30 percent, business by 40 percent and art by 20 percent.

"We've already done those kinds of things," said Celente. "If you start taking more out, then you might as well not do them. Don't have a music program, don't have an art program. We looked at these programs and saw that we could reduce those amounts without affecting the students, so that's what we did."

Celente and district Superintendent Barbara Peters will make more precise decisions about the budget's possible new constraints in the coming year, but are dedicated to not letting it affect the students.

How do you feel about the tax cap? Are you worried your children will lose valuable programs?

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