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Ossining School Budget, Board Vote Set for Tuesday

OSSINING, N.Y. – The Ossining Union Free School District ’s Board of Education election and budget vote are scheduled for Tuesday.

Newcomer Sharon Abreau and incumbents Dana Levenberg and Kimberly Case are vying for two positions on the board. The three candidates recently took questions at Ossining High School in a session that served to introduce the candidates prior to the election . Voters also will be asked to approve the school district’s 2012-13 budget. Voting is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Ossining High School gym.

The Board of Education previously agreed to accept the budget proposal that ultimately increases the tax levy about 2.92 percent from 2011-12. The proposal cuts 11.4 full-time-equivalent positions and $3.3 million in nonclassroom spending, according to the district’s website. Board members are also quick to point out that the district’s enrollment is expected to increase to 4,735 students from 4,455 this year, while per-pupil state aid is dropping to $2,625 from $2,906.

Board President Bill Kress previously said it could be challenge to show voters that a 2.93 percent increase to the tax levy is the best option.

“At the end of the day, with all of the unfunded mandates and increased costs that we have no control over, I think we’re still staying under our tax cap limit,” Kress said, adding that he was very happy that the proposed budget included more than $3.3 million in cuts. “We had no choice and this is not really an increase in my mind at the end of the day because of that.”

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