The following announcement was submitted by the White Plains school district:
The White Plains Board of Education has announced the district’s 2014-15 budget planning process, continuing the successful community-wide forums held last year.
Board President Rosemarie Eller said, “Next year’s budget will be a tremendous challenge, responding to the state-imposed property tax levy cap, which is estimated at an approximate 1.5 percent increase. With proposed reductions in federal aid, plus large increases in health insurance rates and pension costs – totally outside of district control, the district will need to consider about $1 million in budget reductions to remain within the cap.”
The district is seeking broad input on the budget from the community, at two Budget Forums: on Thursday, Jan. 23, and Wednesday, March 19, Both are in the B-1 Room at White Plains High School, at 7:30 p.m. Additional meetings will take place in the community and any group or organization wishing to host such a meeting may contact the Superintendent’s Office at (914) 422-2033. Discussions have also been held with staff to solicit their input.
All residents are invited to attend these sessions, to participate in focused dialogue on spending efficiencies, areas of concern, budget priorities and creative ways to increase revenues. A review of the district’s financial situation, the state’s and city’s financial constraints, and other issues relating to development of the budget will be presented.
The district will also hold two Public Hearings: the first on March 10, on the Preliminary Proposed Budget, and the second on May 12, on the Board of Education’s Adopted Proposed Budget. Both hearings will take place at Education House, 5 Homeside Lane, at 7:30 p.m.
Superintendent of Schools Timothy P. Connors said, “We hope to work together with the community to develop a budget that maintains the high quality of education in White Plains and that is fiscally responsible and can be supported by the taxpayers in the May 20 vote.”
The community is encouraged to visit the district’s website, www.whiteplainspublicschools.org for information on the budget.