PLAINVILLE — The Town Council earlier this week unanimously approved a $100,000 reduction to the Board of Education budget.
The reduction brings the board’s funding to $38.2 million, a $900,000 increase over the current year’s budget.
Voters narrowly rejected the $38.3 million school budget passed by the Town Council in a 384-372 vote on April 30. The $23.5 million municipal budget passed 409-354.
Democratic Councilor Rosemary Morante said she felt a substantial cut to school funding was not warranted due to the close margin of the vote.
"It was a very, very close vote. It was only rejected by 12 votes, I don't think it was a mandate," she said during the Monday public hearing before the council vote.
The revised budget will go before voters a second time on Tuesday. Polls will be open at Fire Department headquarters on West Main Street from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The $61.9 million school and town budget originally passed by the council would have raised the mill rate by 0.88 mills to 34.72 mills, meaning a $121 tax increase for the average home assessed at $137,227. A mill equals $1 in property tax per every $1,000 of a property's taxable value.
Councilors Ty Cox and Deborah Tompkins, both Republicans, said they came into the meeting leaning toward a $200,000 cut to the school budget, but were swayed by the number of residents at the meeting that supported a smaller reduction.
"After sitting through this public hearing tonight ... I think that it is unfair to punish the children in this town by the parents’ mistakes of not going to go vote," Cox said.
Many of those who spoke during the public hearing before the council vote were concerned about the impact cuts could have on special education programs and social studies courses at Plainville High School.
Resident John Kisluk said consecutive increases in local government funding are unsustainable.
"This is not sustainable, you can't keep increasing this budget $1 million a year. It's just ridiculous," he said.
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