Voters taking advantage of school budget validation process


The school budget validation process, which was part of the school district reorganization law passed last year, is proving popular with voters. The process allows for a referendum vote on all school budgets, a first for many communities.
While most school budgets are being approved by voters under this process, there have been a few examples in recent days of budgets being defeated at the polls. Wiscasset voters turned down their school budget by a wide margin earlier this week, leaving school officials there scrambling to find cuts. According to the article, the town is spending more than$13,000 per pupil.
Voters in Acton narrowly defeated that town’s school budget, and voters in Lamoine did the same, voting down a school budget proposal there that would have resulted in property tax increases of “34 to 38 percent.”
The message that voters have had about enough of steadily growing school budgets is starting to be heard. Though school board members in South Portland were quick to blame economic issues for the near defeat at the polls of South Portland’s $40 million school budget, at least one school board member took the vote to mean that “money is an issue.”
Seems voters in some Maine towns are taking advantage of the budget validation process to make that message heard.