Vernon Leaders Revise Budget Proposal After Hearing From Concerned Residents

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Vernon town leaders have revised their budget proposal after hearing from dozens of concerned residents.

Parents, teachers and students packed a special council meeting Tuesday protesting proposed cuts to the town’s board of education budget.  Vernon is one of the state’s “alliance districts”, meaning it’s one of the 30 lowest performing districts in the state. Already a lot of students leave town to attend magnet and private schools.  Some say if the schools don’t improve it’ll be more than students leaving.

“I think about leaving all the time.  Every Sunday I look at the paper to see what houses are for sale in South Windsor, Ellington and Tolland, “ said one mother of four boys.

Voters have rejected two budget referendums that allotted much less than the $51 million the Board of Education wanted.

But Mayor George Apel says, “I’m the mayor, I’m the CEO of all the citizens and the budget I proposed was what i thought best serving this town.”

This revised budget proposal restores funding to the board of education, to an amount just $500,000 less than what the board asked for initially. But the increase brings with it an increased mill rate – to the tune of a 5.6% tax rate hike.   Voters wll have to give the new plan final approval – a vote is likely before the end of next week.

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