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White Plains Schools to Hold Budget Forums

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- White Plains Board of Education President Rosemarie Eller would like to invite residents to attend two 2012-2013 budget forums as the school district prepares to begin calculating what Eller predicts will be a "tremendous challenge" of a budget.

"Next year’s budget will be a tremendous challenge, responding to the state-imposed 2 percent property tax levy cap, in addition to the difficult economic situation," Eller said in a press release. "With proposed carry-forward increases of $4.5 million in salaries, pension costs and reductions in aid, the district will need to consider about $1 million in budget reductions to remain within the cap."

The community is welcome to give input on the budget at two budget forums. The Jan. 11 session will begin in room B-1 of the high school at 7:30 p.m. The second forum will be held at the Church Street cafeteria at 7:30 p.m.

A preliminary proposed budget will be presented in March, which will be followed by two additional forums. The first will be held at Post Road at 7:30 p.m. on March 14. The second forum will take place in the high school on March 21.

Superintendent Christopher Clouet encouraged residents to learn about the district's financial situation and discuss possible spending efficiencies, budget priorities and plans to increase revenues at the forums.

"We hope to work together with the community to develop a budget that maintains the high quality of education in White Plains and that is fiscally responsible and can be supported by the taxpayers in the May 15th vote," Clouet said in a statement.

Additionally, the district has scheduled a public hearing on the district's preliminary proposed budget on March 12 and a second public hearing on White Plains School District's proposed budget on May 7.

White Plains residents will be allowed to share their opinion on the budget at the Education House after both public hearings begin at 7:30 p.m.

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