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Pelham School Board Seeks Community Comments On Budget

A $68.1 million budget was proposed for the 2013-14 year in the Pelham Union Free School District.
A $68.1 million budget was proposed for the 2013-14 year in the Pelham Union Free School District. Photo Credit: File Photo

PELHAM, N.Y. -- The Pelham school board will welcome public comments on the 2013-14 proposed budged Friday at its coffee session before the budget process begins in earnest Monday with the start of four workshops.

Friday's Board Coffee will take place at 9:30 a.m. in J Café on Wolfs Lane, formerly the MAD Café.

The preliminary budget submitted by Interim Superintendent Charles Wilson represents a 4.01 percent increase in spending and a 3.97 percent increase in the tax levy for the Pelham Union Free School District. This is below the allowable tax cap for the Pelham Schools, which is 4.18 percent based on New York State guidelines.

The preliminary budget is $68,188,198, representing a 4.6 percent increase from the 2012-13 approved budget of $65,560,607.

Several changes were proposed during a review of the budget earlier this month, including the reinstatement of a full-time psychologist, a middle school program for students with special needs, the addition of more games for modified sports and a request for a junior varsity ice hockey team.

Budget workshops will be held on the following Mondays at 8 p.m: March 18, April 1 and April 8. The board plans to adopt the district budget at its meeting April 23, and a state-mandated budget hearing will be held May 7 before the May 21 community vote.

As the school board works to keep the budget for next year within the tax cap while also trying to maintain favorable class size, current programs, and proposed improvements, it is looking for input from the community. Every meeting includes time for public comment.

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