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Westport Approves $112M Education Budget

UPDATED: The sound of applause filled the Westport Town Hall auditorium Tuesday night after the Representative Town Meeting unanimously approved a total Board of Education budget of $112.43 million for the 2011-12 school year, a move Board of Education Chairman Don O'Day predicted.

"Unlike the last two years, I'm feeling the love a little bit tonight," O'Day humorously said after he presented and explained the budget to the RTM — the town's legislative body.

Following O'Day's presentation, RTM member Jack Klinge not only voiced his support for passing the budget, he urged his colleagues to approve it as presented.

"Academically, this year's senior class set all records for college acceptances into tier one schools," Klinge told the RTM. "We are getting a great return on our investment in the school system."

Of the $112.43 million budget, $98.1 million is set as the operating budget. Originally, the Board of Education sought $98.3 million for its operating budget, but the Board of Finance cut that by $250,000 back in March. The education board never sought restoration.

The total approved education budget is a 1.65 percent increase over the current fiscal year. The presentation, discussion of and voting on the education budget only took about 45 minutes. RTM Moderator Hadley Rose joked it was a world record.

Are you surprised the Representative Town Meeting approved the Board of Education budget without making any cuts? Please leave a comment below.

*(This story was updated on 5/4/11 at 2:30 p.m. to include more information on the RTM vote.)

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