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Sleepy Hollow Votes On $66 Million School Budget Tuesday

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow residents will vote on Tuesday on a proposed $66.83 million budget for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns that would raise the tax levy by 2.4 percent and stay within the tax cap.

The proposed budget is a 3.2 percent increase from the 2011-12 budget of $64.75 million. Tarrytown residents will see a 1.97 percent increase in the tax rate. Sleepy Hollow residents will see a 3.12 percent increase in the tax rate.

"Balancing the budget required making offsetting cost reductions elsewhere in the budget, which were accomplished primarily through a retirement incentive and some modest staff reductions," the school district announced Wednesday. "However, the district was able to maintain its commitment to preserving existing programs and services and to maintaining educationally responsible and regionally competitive class sizes."

School officials will also seek approval for two 66-passenger school buses at a cost not to exceed $240,000. The district said money for the buses would be from savings in the 2011-12 budget and would not have an impact on the 2012-13 budget. A proposition is needed so the district is eligible to receive state reimbursement for 39 percent of the cost.

Under the proposed budget, new teachers would be added in math, special education and second grade because of increased enrollments and state mandates. The school district would reduce or eliminate some positions to offset those costs.

Budget changes to cover the new teachers include the sharing of one teaching assistant in two classrooms, elimination of a librarian position at the elementary level in favor of teaching assistants and the retirement of a prekindergarten social worker.

School officials also proposed eliminating sections of foreign language at the middle school for at-risk kids in favor of extra math instruction.

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