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Byram Hills School Budget Passes by 3-to-1 Margin

ARMONK, N.Y. - Voters passed an $80 million budget Tuesday for the Byram Hills Central School District that includes cuts of more than $1 million in staffing at district schools.

The 805 to 267 vote is one of the largest budget approvals in district history, said district Superintendent Jackie Taylor.

"In the past few years, during these tough economic times, we've tried to be fiscally responsible in crafting our budget," Taylor said.  "And I think our voters responded well to that message this year."

The 2012-13 budget, which remains under the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap, will eliminate two second grade sections at Coman Hill Elementary School, two fifth grade sections at Wampus Elementary School and one teacher aide at Coman Hill. All reductions were made because of a decrease in enrollment, school officials said. The district said it also saved more than $300,000 with the retirement of seven teachers.

Taylor was proud of the district's commitment to maintain programs in the upcoming school year.

"I think our board has done a superb job, we've worked really hard to be fiscally responsible while also maintaing all of our programs and class sizes," Taylor said.

The estimated annual tax rates in 2012-13 for the school district will vary by location based on the current average assessed household. In North Castle, the tax rate will increase by 0.68 percent to $622.79. In New Castle, the tax rate will increase by 0.19 percent to $71.44. In Bedford, the tax rate will increase by 12.82 percent to $144.25. In Mount Pleasant, the tax rate will increase by 8.04 percent to $936.22.

Voters also re-elected Leslie Blum (Cziner) and Ann Tedesco to the Board of Education. Both candidates ran uncontested and will serve their second consecutive term on the board. Tedesco received 881 votes, and Blum (Cziner) got 865.

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