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RCSD budget talks begin 

The Rochester school board will hear a presentation from Superintendent Bolgen Vargas's financial team tomorrow night concerning amendments to the district's 2012 to 2013 budget.

The district approved a $705 million budget last spring. But the district's revenue increased by about $21 million, mostly from grants. Some expenses increased, too, including a $2 million increase in transportation costs. The increase was partly a result of busing students to and from schools with expanded days.

Much of the additional grant funding was used to pay increases in salaries and benefits for staff in the expanded day programs.

As the budgeting process for the 2013 to 2014 school year begins, Vargas is facing about a $70 million gap. And school officials are bracing for possible reductions in state aid, due to the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy.

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