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Parents Come to Westlake to Talk Tax Cap

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Eliminating printed textbooks, combining bus runs and cutting afterschool clubs and sports were among the ideas bandied about in a meeting to discuss how Mount Pleasant schools should deal with the new tax cap.

On Monday, schools Superintendent Susan Guiney, the school board and administrators took questions from parents in an informal meeting in the Westlake library regarding the 2 percent property tax cap now imposed by state law and how it will affect the school programs and budget.

"As we prepare the budget, we are going to consider a lot of things and almost work backwards with what can fit in the levy," Guiney said.The panel and parents discussed ideas and possible solutions for making cuts to the budget such as moving to electronic textbooks, combining buses, and cutting thing such as extracurricular groups and athletics if need be.The new property tax cap set to take place for the 2012-13 allows the district to override the tax cap as long as 60 percent of the district votes in favor of it. However, Guiney had skepticism with proposing a budget that goes over the tax levy."If we want to continue with all the programs we have we're going to have to go over the levy," Guiney said. "However I fear that if we go with a budget that exceeds the 2 percent tax cap, residents are going to vote against it,"Some parents brought up the idea of the school applying for grants in order to assist with the cost of some programs within the district. Mary Elizabeth Wilson, Director of Curriculum & Instructional Services, said that obtaining grants is typically easier said than done for public schools but that Mount Pleasant will continue to apply and is working with a grant writer."The grants we would be talking about are not small scale, we're talking about large scale projects," Wilson said.

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