PORT CHESTER, N.Y. Parents, students, faculty and other members of the Port Chester community gathered inside of the Edison School's cafeteria on Wednesday evening for an information session on the state's 2 percent property tax cap levy and how it will affect the districts future budgets.
Members of the Edison School PTO, the Port Chester School District and the Port Chester Board of Education spoke about what the law means and how it could affect Port Chester.
According to Superintendent Edward Kliszus, as of now, the district would be facing a budget deficit of nearly $3 million for the next school year. While no cuts have been officially determined, Kliszus said the first things the district would look at would be the elimination of full-time kindergarten and the slashing of employee benefits.
"As of today we are facing a budget deficit of $2.7 million for next year," Superintendent Edward Kliszus said. "What does that mean? It means we have to continue to write letters to Albany."
Both Kliszus and Maura McAward, assistant superintendent, spoke about the importance of writing letters to Assembly member George Latimer (D District 91) and State Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer (D,WF District 37).
"The state has already received hundreds of letters from Port Chester, but the letter writing campaign has to continue into April," Kliszus added. "Assemblyman Latimer told me he wants to go in with mailbags of letters to persuade his fellow lawmakers."
Edison School PTO President Frank Stever gave thanks to both McAward and Kliszus and also encouraged the public to continue to write letters.
"The first part of the first step is moving forward with letters," Stever said. "The challenge for us as parents is to step up, keep meeting, keep writing and keep moving forward."
The presentation was simulcast in Spanish via headphones in effort to reach as many members of the community as possible. McAward said she was overwhelmed by the community response.
"This is a serious issue that's here to stay," McAward said. "This is the time to spread the news about how important each voice is."
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