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- Westchester Politics, Never Boring..
- Relentless Mother Nature Pummels Westchester Again!
- Stray Dogs. Why do People Let Them Stray?
- Don't put away that shovel just yet...
- Olympic Hopes Dashed
- Squeezing Blood from Upstate Stones
- Take Nothing for Granted
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A surprise snowstorm has walloped Westchester County forcing the closure of one roadway and delays of many schools due to the icy accumulation.
Last evening, portions of the Saw Mill River Parkway had to be shut down following numerous accidents and spinouts as DPW crews moved in to salt down the treacherous roadway.
School Superintendent Judith Johnson says the Peekskill City School District has successfully negotiated salary concessions with its bargaining units, a move that will save more than 20 teacher jobs from the chopping block and will also lower the tax rate increase for Peekskill residents.
Johnson said, "These timely actions by our teachers and staff have made a tremendous difference to the educational and financial health of our district."
School districts across Westchester are facing unprecedented challenges as they try to balance their budgets. On April 20, residents in Eastchester will decide whether or not to do away with busing for most Middle and High School Students. Elementary School students would not be affected.
School Board President Willa Brody Hughes says the option was put on the table after several public hearings in which residents demanded the district do all it can to keep school taxes in check. Said Brody Hughes,"It's a very, very emotional issue, because there are parents, understandably, who are working parents, who rely upon these services, and the parents are going to have to make a decision in terms of valueing whether $350,000 in savings would substantiate the elimination of buses for their children."
State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) says her Education Mandate Relief Package has passed in the State Senate. Oppenheimer chairs the New York State Education Committee.
The package of six bills, which she sponsored, allows school districts to more effectively manage the resources they have and make the best possible budget decisions for their communities. Said Oppenheimer, "Our current fiscal crisis compels us to look for ways to restructure government at all levels to make it more efficient and cost-effective." She adds, "The education reforms I have championed afford school districts relief from burdensome mandates."
The mandate relief plan prohibits imposition of new mandates after the start of a school fiscal year and allows Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to provide additional shared services to member districts, such as "piggyback" transportation contracts.
Peekskill residents will have an opportunity Saturday March 20 to weigh in and take a closer look at the school budget for the 2010-2011 school year. The District's Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee, which is comprised of local residents who have been analyzing the budget expenditures and anticipated revenues, is hosting the forum along with School Superintendent Judith Johnson, Members of the Committee and the Board of Education. The session's expected to begin with an overview of the budget challenges facing the district.
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Suzi Oppenheimer joined the Westchester Putnam School Board Association and local school board members at a press conference today at Tappan Hill in Tarrytown to call for the repeal of the Wicks Law, which requires public construction projects to issue four or more contracts to separate contractors for plumbing, electrical, heating and genera
Residents in the City of Peekskill will have an opportunity tonight to weigh in on a proposed 75.4 million dollar 2010-2011 school budget that calls for 71 layoffs including up to 20 teachers. In addition, the plan calls for the district to do away with its Pre-K program and cut back some athletic teams and various school programs. School Superintendent Dr. Judith Johnson says the cuts were needed to help close a 5.5 million dollar shortfall. She says the deficit is the result of a loss of $1.8 million in state aid and $3.7 million in pay raises and benefits.
Around the Country
- Southwest to Cancel Flights as Jets Checked for Cracks - BusinessWeek
- Schumer: Dems slicing budget with scalpel, Tea Party using meat ax - CNN (blog)
- Duke lacrosse accuser arrested in boyfriend's stabbing - CNN International
- House GOP: $4 trillion in cuts - CNN
- Bachmann bids for 'bama eyes - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Around the Planet
- Afghans Continue Protests Over US Quran Burning - Voice of America
- Japan's nuclear workers try to trace leak, dump radioactive water - Los Angeles Times
- OSCE raps Kazakh election, presses for reforms - Reuters
- Newsmaker: Yemen survivor Saleh juggles forces to keep power - Reuters
- France says finds bodies in Atlantic crash wreckage - Reuters