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Letter: Ossining Budget Preserves School Quality

OSSINING, N.Y. — accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be emailed to

To the Editor:

As a member of the Ossining Board of Education, I am deeply proud of the work our students, teachers, staff, and administrators do every day. From our winning Girls’ Basketball team to our recent recognition as an Intel School of Distinction Finalist to the success of our O-Bot team at the International Robotics Competition, there are countless examples of the high quality work that takes place in Ossining schools.

That’s why preserving the quality of education we provide is so important to the members of the Board of Education. At the same time, we are aware of the economic difficulties facing families and businesses in our community. To address these two needs, the board proposed a budget for 2012-2013 that preserves our core educational programming as well as some key initiatives while remaining under the state tax levy cap.

The proposed budget reflects compromise and collaboration. A key cost-saving measure was the move from a self-insured health insurance plan that was projected to increase by about 14% next year to a larger insurance plan. This change is anticipated to save the district $2.3 million in health care premiums. It would not have been possible without the support of all of our employees.

The other key saving was in the area of transportation, where eliminating three bus runs and hiring our own monitors shaved nearly $900,000 from the transportation costs. Both of these changes saved the district money without affecting what takes place in the classroom. I urge community members to visit our Web site and review the budget materials in detail. The vote takes place on May 15th from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Please exercise your right to vote.

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