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White Plains School Budget Passes, Three Elected

This story was updated at 4:05 p.m.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains School District's $188,822,000 budget passed with 81 percent of the vote Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.

The 2012-2013 budget , adopted by the board April 16, raises taxes 3.03 percent with a tax rate of $565.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That translates into $249.15 more per year for an average assessed home of $15,000.

The three candidates for the board of education were all uncontested. Incumbents Peter Bassano and James Hricay received an unofficial tally of 936 (957) and 895 (915) votes respectively, while newcomer Rose Lovitch received an unofficial total of 910 (922) votes,

"We have a new board member, who is very qualified and who we know well because she's been such an activist parent, and is someone who will fit right in," said Christopher Clouet, superintendent of schools.

Of the 1,113 (1,141)residents who turned out to vote, 901 (920) voted in favor of the budget.

"I would have liked to see a larger turnout, but the 81 percent is certainly a ringing endorsement," Clouet said.

John Steward of Woodcrest Avenue brought his son Peter, 18, to cast his first-ever vote at Church Street Elementary Tuesday evening. Both father and son voted in favor of the budget.

"It's our civic duty," said John, who has tried to pass that maxim onto his son. "Everyone in our family votes."

Like Peter, Khalilah Luschiku, 18, voted for the first time this year. Both are seniors at White Plains High School.

"I don't think there's anything more important than education," said Luschiku's mother Elizabeth Schutt, who also voted in favor of the budget.

Stephen Ross of Rockledge Avenue said "yes" to the budget because, "I just want to make sure the school budget passes so we have good schools, so our property values stay high."

"People responded to our thoughtful budget presentations and the creation of a budget that is at once respectful of the tax payers and, at the same time, meets the needs of our students," Clouet said.

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