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School Budget Gets Mixed Reviews

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If Tuesday’s public hearing is any indication, the Pleasantville Board of Education will have to do more to sell residents on its 2011-2012 budget.

The $44.8 million budget carries a .25 spending increase and a 1.69 tax rate increase. Despite the relatively low increases, many residents responded negatively at the public hearing.

Jeffrey Goldberg was a vocal critic of the budget. Goldberg was selling shirts at the Pleasantville train station this week that said “I was all about the kids, but now I all can afford is this lousy tee-shirt.” Goldberg was also passing out packets that showed how SAT scores have remained flat, despite spending doubling.

“It’s a real failure of leadership on this board,” Goldberg said. “Your taxes have doubled and we have worse results. People can no longer afford to live in this community.”

Not all reaction was negative. Maura Hunter, a teacher and Pleasantville resident, praised the district and expressed her support for the budget.

“I hope everyone votes yes on the budget,” Hunter said.

The public will vote on the budget and on school board candidates on May 17.

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