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Colchester Prepares for Third School Budget Vote on Tuesday

The District has cut spending again. They're cuts of over half a million dollars over 3 budget proposals.
COLCHESTER, Vt. -

It's the third time for Colchester voters. The District has cut spending again. They've cut over a half million dollars since the first vote on Town Meeting Day.

Colchester is just one of several Vermont towns trying to get its budget passed for the next school year.

You can tell Colchester voters are heading back to the polls. “Vote Yes” and “Vote No” signs are scattered all across town.

“It improves the community, you got to do it. You just have to,” said Dale Lyman, who will vote yes.

“"I think the taxes are just high enough and it's pretty hard to keep up,” said Shelby Roberts, who will be voting no.

Colchester is getting its third try on Tuesday to pass its school budget.

Here's how the proposals have looked:

On Town meeting day, the school budget proposal was $36,008,112.

On May 6th, the School Board tried again with a budget proposal of $35,565,368.

On Tuesday, Colchester voters will check yes or no to a $35,471,154, a 2.8% increase over last year's budget.

“Let me put it very clear, very clear to the voters: There's nothing left,” said Mike Rogers, chair of the Colchester School Board.

School Board Chair Mike Rogers says he thought the first proposal was cutting too much. He admits all of the spending increases are attributed to higher salaries and benefits.

“This is a long standing commitment, labor-wise, of how we structure salaries. What do you want to pay a teacher? You want the best and brightest teaching your children, what do you want to pay them?" said Mike Rogers, chair of Colchester School Board.

For this proposal, the district cut funding on new electronic devices for middle school students.

“We are behind in getting those devices in the hands of our students. Our typical way is having carts with laptops or we have labs,” said Superintendent Larry Waters.

For a home worth $100,000, the proposed budget would increase taxes by $60 a year.

Voting will be Tuesday from 7am-7pm either at the Colchester Meeting House or the Colchester High School.


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