Brunswick voters approve $35M school budget

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BRUNSWICK — Voters on Tuesday approved a $35 million school budget for fiscal year 2014.

The budget was approved by 56 percent in a 735-558 vote, the lowest support shown in several years. The turnout was larger than the last off-year budget referendum in 2011.

Voters also supported continuing the school budget referendum process for the next three years in a 868-407 vote.

The school budget represents a 4.7 percent increase from last year.

The increase is partially attributed to a hike in salaries, benefits, and special education and technology costs.

The School Department also anticipated a loss of more than $195,000 from 18 local students attending the Harpswell charter school that opens next year.

The $57.3 million combined school, town and county budget will increase the tax rate by 6.6 percent, or an extra $1.64 to the current tax rate of $24.90 per $1,000 of assessed value.