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We write today, Democrats and Republicans united, to ask all Killingworth voters to support the Regional School District 17 budget at the second referendum, on Tuesday, June 4.
Killingworth voters approved the budget at the first referendum, on May 7, by more than 2 to 1. However, because the budget was largely opposed by Haddam voters, it failed.
The RSD 17 Board of Education’s new budget, at $42,348,913, is $216,901 less than the budget that was before the voters in the last referendum. Most of the savings come from staff retirements and resignations since the last budget was proposed.
As a result, for the first time in more than 10 years, both Killingworth and Haddam will see reductions in their town assessments. Faced with rising costs in such essential areas as salaries, benefits, and special education, this is a big accomplishment.
This budget should pass. After 11 consecutive years of declining enrollment, our school system is struggling to control costs while furthering our common goal of providing a quality education for our kids. So far, the board and the professionals have managed to do both. The proof: Among 167 school districts in the state, RSD 17 ranks 16th overall in the state’s District Performance Index, while our cost per pupil is 76th.
We can be proud of the quality of education in our district. Many of us moved here because of it. We can also be proud of the fiscal restraint that keeps our town taxes relatively low.
We encourage your readers to come out and vote “Yes” on June 4. Polls will be open at Killingworth Elementary School from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee ballots are available now at Town Hall. Every vote is crucial to our school district moving ahead.
Karen Vecchitto, Chair
Killingworth Republican Town Committee
Annie Stirna, Chair
Killingworth Democratic Town Committee