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March 11. 2014 10:09PM

Allenstown voters say no to $1 million school budget cut

ALLENSTOWN — The anticipation was so great for the result of the Allenstown School District operating budget vote that officials at the polls released the initial tally prior to the write-in ballots being tabulated.

The initial results indicated a clear 634-306 victory for dozens of parents who spent hours the last five weeks convincing fellow residents to vote “no” to the modified school district budget after an amendment to cut nearly $1 million from the original stipend passed by two votes at the deliberative session on Feb. 1.

Though the write-in votes had yet to be released late Tuesday, there were more than enough “no” votes to call the decision, which reverted district’s financial allocation to the default budget of $9,756,468, the same number recommend by the school board and budget committee.

The amended budget of $8,780,000 would have reduced the tax rate by $4.05 per $1,000 assessed valuation, or $1,012.50 on a $250,000 home, but hard cuts would have been imminent and school district officials had indicated that as many as 14 teachers and support staff members would have been cut, in addition to dozens of integral programs.

“We’re ecstatic that the townspeople showed up to support the kids, and I can’t express how very happy we are that the budget cut didn’t pass,” said Jody Moore, a parent and write-in candidate for the Allenstown School Board. “We’re so very pleased that the children won in this battle, and they’ll be able to keep these important programs and have a chance at the well-rounded education and future they deserve.”

Larry Anderson, the budget committee member who proposed the budget amendment, was not immediately available for comment.

roconnor@newstote.com


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