LEWISTON — Voters on Tuesday rejected the School Committee’s proposed $111.47 million budget by a vote of 743-395.

It was a 9.29%, or $9.48 million, increase over the current $101.99 million budget.

Lewiston Schools Superintendent Jake Langlais said Tuesday night that administrators will adapt.

“There are a lot of factors but at the end of the day the kids come first and that will be how we center our work for in this phase,” he said.

Residents casting ballots at the Gov. Longley Elementary School were asked if they thought the budget was too high, acceptable or too low. A total of 754 said it was too too high, 241 said it was acceptable and 130 said it was too low.

Some who would not normally vote on the budget were drawn to the polls this year because they felt the proposal would raise property taxes even higher.


Others voted in favor to support teachers and students, and felt the community needs to invest in schools.

Budget discussions were especially difficult this year as federal emergency COVID-19 funding ended and inflation pushed costs up, along with increased costs in other areas of the budget.

The state subsidy for the next school year is expected to be $72.9 million.

The property tax rate for education was expected to increase from $12.31 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation to $14.56 if the budget had passed.

The City Council, which had approved the proposed budget, will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss setting a date for a revote.

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