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Absentee ballots available for Portland school budget referendum

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Absentee ballots available for Portland school budget referendum

PORTLAND — Absentee ballots are now available for the Sept. 4 public referendum on a $1.9 million supplemental school budget.

Voters must submit the absentee ballots by Aug. 30 to the City Clerk's office at City Hall during regular business hours, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The office will be open until 7 p.m. on the final day for absentee voting. 

Voters may also request an absentee ballot by calling 847-8677 or through the city's website.

Polls for the referendum will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 4.

In May, city voters overwhelmingly approved a $96.4 million school budget. The supplemental budget referendum was required after the state budget passed in June included an additional $1.9 million in general purpose aid for Portland Schools.

If approved, school officials said they will use the money to cover about $1.4 million in new costs for teacher retirements and to hire the equivalent of eight full-time staff. About 40 positions were cut in the original budget.

If voters reject the additional money, all of the $1.9 million in state aid would go into the district’s fund balance and the School Department would be forced to make additional cuts to cover the $1.4 million cost for teacher retirements.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.