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Greenburgh School Budget Now Up to Voters

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The future spending plan for Greenburgh schools is now in the hands of district voters.

Greenburgh Central School District 7’s Board of Education unanimously approved the proposed 2012-2013 budget Tuesday night, a $58.6 million plan that administrators said has been “cut to the bone.”

“A lot of work went into this budget with the goal of providing success to every student but at the same time demonstrating fiscal restraint,” said Assistant Superintendent Ed Joseph during the board's meeting inside Woodlands High School.

Since November, district administrators have gone line-by-line through the spending plan, reviewing each expense.

While the budget features a slight spending increase over this year’s ledger, it does not include any cuts, either to staff or after school programs.

Administrators said they were uncertain as to what the budget's effect on the property tax rate will be.

They did say, however, that the tax levy increase will be below the state's formula-determined tax cap, coming in at 2.54 percent.

If, however the adopted budget were to be rejected by voters in May, which was the case last year, the district would be forced to cut $1.2 million from the plan.

Interim Superintendent Ronald Ross warned Tuesday those cuts would hit staff particularly hard.

“There will be layoffs and we will lose personnel,” he said. “This is not meant to scare you. It’s the truth.”

Ross also used the meeting to lash out at the state’s tax cap, calling it a “death deal” for public education.  Greenburgh Central 7 and many other districts around the state simply will not be able to survive if they continue to be limited by the two percent cap, he said.

“I believe that the core of diversity is public education and that this is as much an issue of national security as anything,” he said.

The public vote on the 2012-2013 budget plan is May 15 at Woodlands High School.

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