WARWICK-The school budget process has begun. Monday night Dr. Joseph Natale, superintendent of Warwick schools, presented a $70.2 million budget for the 2005-06 school year, an increase of 8.53 percent. It breaks down this way: The proposed budget includes an additional $2.8 million for contractual salary and benefit increases. Add to that BOCES costs, increases in utilities, supplies and expenses, and the base budget is expected to rise 7.54 percent or $4.9 million. The growth part of the budget includes staffing. Natale proposed adding a full time orchestra teacher and a part-time band instructor in the middle school; a full time science teacher and part-time band instructor at the high school and a district-wide director of fine arts. In sports, an assistant softball coach and a lacrosse program are included. A full-time special education aide and part-time special education teacher are proposed. A high school security guard, assistant director of operations and management, typist, and three monitors are included in support staffing needs. This part of the budget increases $638,547 or .99 percent. Natale noted that two teachers who are set to retire at the school year's end at Park Avenue and the middle school would not be replaced. Not included in the proposed budget but identified as needed are an additional custodian at the high school, a special education teacher's aide, director of technology, director of community relations and the expansion of the foreign language program, totaling nearly $404,000. This is just the first step in the budget process. Two more work sessions are scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 21. On April 11 the school board will adopt the proposed budget for presentation to the voters. A public hearing takes place on May 9 at 7 p.m., and the budget vote is slated for May 17. The superintendent's proposed budget presentation can be found on the district's Web site (www.warwickvalleyschools.com).