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Region 9 Hears No Easton Voices on Budget

A budget hearing in the Region 9 School District was quiet Monday night in a near empty auditorium. "A lot of people looked at the budget and saw they did the best they can to get the budget where it needs to be," said Colin Board of Redding who was waiting to pick his son up from a volleyball game. "I think the people spoke out during the recent election."

The proposed budget shows an increase of 2.3 percent overall, with Easton's portion increasing by 3.81 percent, or $383,355, because of a rise in enrollment. The total proposed budget is $21.7 million with $10,488,550 as Easton's share.

The operating budget drivers include contractual salary obligations, health insurance, special education transportation, and a decrease in state and federal aid and support staff pension contributions.

Expense reductions include outside tuition for students with special needs, retirement savings, debt service, electricity and transportation excluding special education.

"Under 3 percent increase is a pretty good budget," said Richard Bloom of Redding, who made the only public comment during the meeting. He asked what further reductions would be made if the budget were to fail in the May 3 vote. Chair Mike Lewis said possible reductions could include lower contributions to uncertified pensions, a literacy consultant, an NEASC consultant and the special education percentage from the state. The anticipated referendum date is May 3.

Do you think this is a fair budget? Leave your comments below.

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