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Cuts May Be Coming to Bedford Road School

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The budget for the upcoming school year in the Pleasantville School District could bring the elimination of one teacher in the Bedford Road Elementary School.

“The board is looking at reducing one of the sections in the incoming fourth grade to align more with the current size of fifth grade,” Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said.

The preliminary 2012-13 budget totaling in $45.2 million was presented earlier this week to the board of education. The budget features a tax levy increase of 1.97 percent, under the state mandated 2 percent cap, and will raise taxes for residents by $220 dollars for the year on an average assessed household.

The total preliminary budget shows only a 1 percent increase from last year’s, but Fox-Alter said that the board of education will need to make a decision by early April whether or not to eliminate the full-time position at Bedford Road.

David Quattrocchi, business administrator for the district, said the board may be able to shuffle the teachers without elimination, such as a teacher taking a leave of absence.

“There will be one less person, but it’s unclear whether it will require an actual cut of a person or how the fall out will be,” Quattrocchi said.

The district was able to save a significant amount in the upcoming budget, over $214,000, in utility costs. Quattrocchi said this is due to efficiencies in operating costs due to renovations made to the high school.

In this year’s preliminary budget, the district saw an increase in employee benefits of over $420,000 from last year’s budget.  Fox-Alter said these mandated costs have made it difficult to construct a budget under the 2 percent tax levy cap.

“It creates a cap without any adjustments to items that actually impact the cap,” Fox-Alter said.

The final proposed budget will be made public on April 3 and the budget vote will take place on May 15.

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