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Scarsdale School Board Talking Budget

Discussions continue on the proposed school budget.

met last night and continued to take public input on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The issues of the night included what to do with the proposed school budget's surplus and the tax cap.

The proposed 2012-2013 school budget is $141,634,884, which is a 2.3 percent increase over the current budget. The property tax rate is estimated at 3.81 percent for Scarsdale and 2.64 percent for Mamaroneck strip residents, according to the proposed budget document.

Linda Purvis, Assistant Superintendent for Business, told the board that the 2011-2012 budget included 4.96 percent from surplus.

"I know of almost no other school that funds almost five percent of the budget with surplus," Purvis said.

"Our sense is that the continued reliance on surplus is just not sound management," she said.

School Board Member Sunil Subbakrishna said he supports the proposed budget. "I think this is a reasonable and well thought out budget."

Board Member Lewis Leone, Jr. said the board aims to budget responsibly and honestly. He stated that any surplus "is money we don't need and I think it's our fiduciary responsibility to return it to our taxpayers."

The board took public comments on the proposed budget and heard from members of the Scarsdale Parent Teacher Council Executive Committee, residents, and the Coaltion for Scarsdale Schools.

One Quaker Ridge School mother thanked the board for the proposed budget. "The education that we have in Scarsdale is truly, truly spectacular," she said.

One Tisdale Road resident spoke out against funding for a fitness center expansion and internet cafe at the high school.

Board of Education President Jill Spieler said the internet cafe is a project to alleviate crowding in the high school cafeteria and in the library. She noted that the 2008 board approved the fitness center project, which was subsequently put on hold due to the economic times.

Read the full statements of the Scarsdale Parent Teacher Council Executive Committee and the Coaltion for Scarsdale Schools.by viewing the attached PDFs with this article.

The next School Budget Forum is being held on Wednesday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m. in Room 170-172 at Scarsdale High School.

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