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Scarsdale School Official Calls Info Sheet Misleading

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Scarsdale's assistant school superintendent had a message Monday night for residents who have received the school district's mandatory six-day notice of the impending school board and budget election in the mail: Never mind.

The required wording of the mailing does not take into account the state's new laws surrounding the tax levy cap, and it is misleading, Linda Purvis said.

"The wording and format of the mailing is highly proscribed under state law," Purvis said. "Unfortunately, that doesn't always ensure clarity."

That is the case this year, she said. The mailing, as in the past, states that if the 2012-2013 budget fails to gain voter approval, it would not need more cuts to reach the contingency budget. This, Purvis said, is not the case under the new law.

"The contingent budget calculations are not still relevant," she said.

"If budget is defeated twice," Purvis said, "it will require significant cuts to meet the zero percent tax levy increase."

According to the law, the school board can put forth a revised budget – or the same one – if voters reject the document on Election Day. If voters reject the budget twice, it reverts to the previous year's tax levy figure. Because of the built-in budget increases – negotiated salary hikes, insurance and energy increases and state-mandated pension increases, for instance – budget cuts would be required.

"If it's defeated twice, it will require millions of dollars in cuts," Purvis said.

Scarsdale voters will join other communities across the state in going to the polls Tuesday, May 15, to vote on the school budget and to fill seats on the Board of Education. Scarsdale voters will find two familiar names on the ballot for the two available seats: Incumbents Mary Beth Gose and Lewis Leone Jr. are running unopposed for re-election.

Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 15 in the Scarsdale Middle School gym.

There will be two opportunities for voters to register: from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, and 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 10, in the offices of the Board of Education, 2 Brewster Road. May 10 is the registration deadline.

More election information can be found on the school district website .

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