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Westport school budget maintains current programs

WESTPORT Westport Central School district voters will see a $4,757,437 proposed budget on the ballet, up from the current year's $4,558,767. "This year's budget was based on the number of students, the need to support our programs and manage our building. We feel it it was very fiscally responsible to the taxpayers," said School Superintendent Karen Tromblee. Tromblee said the proposed budget featured no cuts to the school programs. Several textbook purchases are figured into the budget, including a new K-6 math series, a formalized 7-8 grade reading program, and new and updated textbooks for 7-8 grade students. Tromblee said the purchases were in response to a realignment in the math curriculum by the state department of education. Other reasons for the increased budget are a 7.5 percent rise in health insurance, a 4 percent increase in special education, and an 8.6 percent increase in the cost of employee and teacher retirement. "I think it's a very sound budget - it supports our school very well, and programming for our students. The board worked very hard to make sure we're being cost effective," said Tromblee. The tax levy would be $2,829,860, up from $2,743,691 in 2006-2007. The proposed budget has a levy increase of $86,169, or 3.14 percent. If passed, the projected tax rate using 2006-2007 assessed figures would be $15.50 per $1,000. District voters will fill one seat on the school board. Incumbent George Maffey is running unopposed. Westport voters will also vote on a proposition to purchase a new bus. The public hearing on the budget will take place on Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the school library. The budget vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 from noon-9 p.m. in the lobby area outside of the Bulles auditorium. Copies of the budget are available in the school office, and on the school Web site at www.westportcs.org.

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