School budget passed

Voters in Durham and Middlefield approved the proposed 2014-2015 District 13 school budget on May 6 by a margin of 622 to 338.

Both towns approved the proposed budget, with Durham voting 441 to 215 and Middlefield voting 181 to 123 in favor.

Board of Education members and Superintendent of Schools Kathryn Veronesi gathered at Korn School in Durham to hear the results.

Reacting after the announced results, Veronesi said, “I’m thrilled. I went into this feeling confident of the outcome and very proud of the work the administration did.”

Even feeling confident, Veronesi said, “On referendum day, you’re holding your breath.”

“I’m thrilled,” said BOE chair Kerrie Flanagan. “It’s a very good budget.”

Flanagan said she was grateful to the members of the public who provided feedback, volunteered at the polls, and voted.

The number who voted was once again low. With 622 voting in Durham and 338 in Middlefield, only 960 residents voted on referendum day. Last year, in what was regarded as a low turnout, 1,141 residents voted and passed the school budget at the first referendum.

“I wish more people came out to vote,” said Flanagan.

The approved budget represents a net 1.74 percent increase over the current year’s budget. That figure never changed from the original proposal. After being originally proposed with a net reduction of 13.2 staff positions, three teachers were added back to the budget in response to a higher than expected kindergarten class and concerns about class sizes. Reductions came elsewhere to fund the positions.

The budget also features added AP courses and a new elementary level tech teacher.

The next BOE meeting is scheduled for May 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Lyman Elementary School.



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