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BOE Referendum, Round Two, Underway



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Registered Newtown voters are heading to the polls today, for the second attempt by the Board of Education to get a budget for the 2024-25 academic year passed.

All voting is again taking place at Newtown Middle School, 11 Queen Street. Polls opened at 6 am and will remain open until 8 pm.

Following a rejection of the school budget by 507 votes at a referendum on April 23, the Legislative Council at its April 29 meeting slashed $1,408,307 from the Board of Education’s proposed 2024-25 budget.

The reduction was unanimously approved by all 12 councilmen, in contrast to a previous, pre-referendum meeting on March 27, where no bottom line for the school budget drew more than a simple majority of seven votes.

The new bottom line of $87,409,066 is a $2,339,415 or 2.75% spending increase over the 2023-24 budget, which places it in line with the municipal budget, which was passed by voters.

The previous proposed 2024-25 BOE budget rejected by voters was $88,817,373, which would have been a $3,747,722 or 4.4% spending increase.

The education budget failed, 1,701 No votes to 1,194 Yes votes.

On the secondary question to the education budget — If the proposed sum for the Board of Education is not approved, should the revised budget be higher? — the responses were 727 Yes and 2,071 No.

The Registrar of Voters reported 15.1% of Newtown’s registered voters participated in the April 23 referendum, with 2,952 people showing up at the middle school to vote and another 47 turning in absentee ballots.

Traffic on Queen Street passes a sign on May 10 reminding passersby that a referendum would be taking place today. All voting is being done at Newtown Middle School, in the background. Today is the second referendum for the 2024-25 Board of Education budget. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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