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School district gears up for budget season

The citizens budget group is expected to work with the district in coming up with topics and a format for the district's new public hearing approach. The public, however, according to Tebbano, will then help choose what will be on the next meeting's agenda.

"We just want to make this process as open and transparent as possible," Tebbano said in September when he announced the plan.

Bethlehem Board of Education President James Lytle said he supported the idea of holding public forums on the next school budget, as well as the spending freeze.

"We support Dr. Tebbano's decision to take this difficult but important step," Lytle said. "Although the board fully expects that the governor and the Legislature will keep their promises to our students and to our taxpayers and will not consider any mid-year reductions in the state's commitment to our schools, the freeze is a prudent decision that will place the district in the best position to address whatever fiscal challenges lay ahead."

However, Gov. David Paterson did announce during a press conference that nothing would be left off the table when it comes to reducing the state's spending and warned that every state department will be asked to make cuts.

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