AUBURN — Voters approved the school budget, 865-480, according to unofficial returns Tuesday.

On the question of whether the school budget was too high, acceptable or too low, 508 voters said it was too high; 546 said it was acceptable; and 270 said it was too low.

“I’m pleased the results support the School Committee budget,” Superintendent Katy Grondin said. “I believe that the School Committee really did a thoughtful process to make sure the budget maintained programs, addressed some of our needs, and was fiscally responsible. We continue to be hopeful that when the state budget passes there will be additional state funding to reduce property taxes.”

Turnout was light Tuesday, City Clerk Susan Clements-Dallaire said. Auburn has 16,500 registered voters; Tuesday’s turnout was 8 percent, she said.

“We’ve been seeing more of a turnout,” Clements-Dallaire said. “Part of it has to do with when they moved the school budget vote from May to June, when there’s a state election.

The budget is $41.75 million, 2.8 percent higher than the current $40.74 million. For a homeowner with property valued at $150,000, the budget would raise property taxes by about $108 a year and the tax rate by 72 cents per $1,000 of property value.

However, the state budget has not yet been passed. If more money is provided for education than what Gov. Paul LePage has proposed, which is expected, 100 percent of the money will go to reduce property taxes, Grondin said.

Voters interviewed at Auburn Middle School on Tuesday said they voted for the budget. Several declined to comment.

Tim and Tracie MacLeod said they voted for it.

“It seemed like a good compromise, especially not knowing the current budget outcome from the state,” he said. The school budget is “fair the way it is. Hopefully, they’ll get more money from the state to help. If not, then we’ve got to educate our kids.”

The couple’s young children are not yet in school, Tim MacLeod said.

Eugene Carpentier said he voted yes.

“My daughter’s in school,” he said. “I’m always a big supporter of education. I always say we should put more money in education.”

To the nonbinding ballot question of whether the school budget was too high, just right or too low, he said he answered that not enough was spent on education.

Laurence Nixon said she voted for the budget. “My daughter’s a school teacher,” she said. She is comfortable with the 2.8 percent increase in the budget. “Absolutely. They need all the help they can get.”

Michel Giasson also voted for the school budget, calling schools an important resource.

He’s from Auburn originally, moved to Massachusetts and moved back. “The quality of the school system at that time was a determining factor,” he said. “We ended up back here.”

Auburn Ward 5 clerk Bobbie Pulsifer gives “I Voted Today” stickers to Hugh and Mary Grace Keene at Sherwood Heights Elementary School in Auburn on Tuesday. Ballots asked whether voters wanted to pass the Auburn school budget and a statewide bond issue. 


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