Portland voters approve $94.2 million school budget

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PORTLAND — Voters approved a $94.2 million budget school budget for fiscal 2013 by a two-to-one margin in Tuesday’s referendum.

A record low number of voters turned out despite the budget marking an increase over last year’s in both school expenditures and the city’s property tax rate.

Just 1,562 voters cast a ballot in this year’s referendum. Precisely 1,000 voters, or 64 percent, supported the budget, according to the city’s website. The other 562 votes were opposed to the budget.

That turnout beat last year’s for the lowest since school budget referendums began five years ago. In 2008, 3,500 voters participated in Portland’s referendum.

For school superintendent James Morse, the final percentage was all that mattered. “I would say that (two-to-one is) a pretty strong rate of support by the citizens of Portland,” he said.