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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Voters reject $36.1m school budget by four votes

MILFORD – A $36.07 million school operating budget went down to defeat Tuesday, 984-988.

That means a $35.88 million default budget will go into effect, although that too is subject to change.

The School Board’s budget was amended at the Deliberative Session last month, with attendees asking for an additional $275,000, to restore a number of staff positions, including a middle school gifted and talented teacher, a part-time high school Spanish teacher, and a music teacher.

There was no guarantee, however, that the School Board would have restored those positions. Faced with the prospect of the state downshifting retirement costs and cutting school aid, the board had cut more than $800,000 from administrators’ original spending plan.

A collective bargaining agreement with custodians, which will give them a 1 percent cost-of-living increase this year, was overwhelmingly approved.

School District voters also rejected a $110,000 article to buy a small lot next to the high school by a vote of 616 to 1,330.

It needed a 60 percent super majority to pass.

– KATHY CLEVELAND