Referendum Tomorrow

From today’s Providence Journal.

Voters will decide Tuesday whether to cut $1.3 million from the $59.6-million school budget for the next fiscal year.
A special all-day referendum was scheduled after hundreds of taxpayers filed a petition following a Town Council vote last month to approve the spending plan. Councilman James W. O’Neill, who cast the lone dissenting ballot in the council’s 4-to-1 vote in favor of the spending plan, proposed the approximately 2 percent cut and led the petition drive.

View the ballot here, in Adobe Acrobat PDF form.
Why a cut at all? Concerns about the rise of the school budget over the last ten years have been expressed in several different ways. Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate the numbers is to point out the sharply different trends of school spending and student enrollment, as I highlighted in an l.t.e. that the South County Independent kindly printed on Thursday.

– In 1999 to 2000, the South Kingstown school fund was $34,425,000 to educate 4,380 children.
– The 2009-10 school fund just approved by the Town Council is $59,611,000. This is to educate 3,500 children.

Voting will take place tomorrow at Broad Rock School from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

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