LEWISTON — Voters rejected the proposed Lewiston school budget Tuesday, sending it back to the School Committee for further changes. The vote was 1,630 to 1,387.

The $110.34 million spending plan was $1.13 million less than the first proposal of $111.47 million rejected May 14.

About 9% of registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, more than double the roughly 4% last month.

Superintendent Jake Langlais previously said that if the budget is rejected a second time, school officials would likely have to make deep cuts impacting staff and student resources.

School administrators will work with city staff and officials to set up a timeframe for further budget workshops, votes and another referendum, he said in a statement after results were made public. The schedule will be shared when it is available.

“We will need to get back to work,” he said. “… We are hopeful the process will be rooted in our mission, vision, and strategic priorities. At times when budgets fail, it stirs up emotions but it is essential we stay true to the work at hand — being the very best we can for our kids with the resources available from what hopefully will be an approved budget next vote.”

After the first failed vote, the School Committee cut more than a million dollars from the proposal and used more than half a million dollars from the Special Education Reserve to reduce the amount that would have been raised through taxation.

It was a particularly tough year for budget discussions as inflation and other factors drove staffing salaries and benefits up. The school system is also expecting to spend more on private school tuition for students who need a higher level of educational support than what city schools can currently provide.

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