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School Warns of Budget Rejection Consequences

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – A voter rejection of Greenburg Central School District 7’s proposed budget will have dramatic consequences, school officials warned Thursday.

Should voters reject the $58.6 million budget this spring, the district will be forced into a contingency plan that will shave the spending in the plan by at least $1.2 million.

That could mean cuts to personnel, after-school programs or activities, Assistant Superintendent Ed Joseph told community members during a public workshop at Woodlands High School.

“A defeated budget will certainly decimate the academic program for which the community expects and requires and has demanded of the district,” he said.

Greenburgh Central’s proposed 2012-2013 budget calls for no cuts in teaching positions or programs and will not increase taxes more than 2.5 percent.

But if that plan were to be rejected by voters, the district would be forced to work with a zero percent increase from its current budget.

And with district costs rising, administrators would need to cut back, the school board said.

While the final decision would left to the board of education, Assistant Superintendent Susan Sciascia said that could mean less teacher aides, a half day kindergarten class schedule or cuts in the athletic and arts programs.

Arts Director Miriam Bernabei and Athletic Director Matt Smith used the meeting to emphasize the importance each program has to the community.

Smith played a two-minute clip of Woodlands High School students talking about the role of sports in their education, urging voters to pass the budget.

“It’s important for the community to support the budget because supporting the budget supports us,” Woodlands student athlete James Cole said in the video.

Taxpayers can continue to weigh in on the spending plan March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Richard J. Bailey Elementary School and March 31 at 10:30 a.m. in the Greenburgh Public Library.

The public vote is May 15 at Woodlands High School.

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