Last week, Waterbury and Duxbury residents voted 462-246 to approve a U-45 School District budget of $11,584,574, which marks a 2.1 percent increase over last year. The 2015-2016 budget was approved in a revote that took place on Thursday, March 26, after it was defeated at Town Meeting on March 3 by only 28 votes.
Leading up to the revote, some members of the Waterbury-Duxbury School Board proposed cutting the budget so that it would pass the second time around, but others suggested that it did not pass earlier this month because of incorrect information that was published in the Waterbury Record the week before Town Meeting. In writing about the budget, the newspaper used last year's numbers to report an increase of 6.4 percent, while the actual increase was only 2.1 percent.
The $11,584,574 budget includes the reduction of over five staff members at a time when enrollment is steady and any further cuts, according to the school board, would have "huge consequences" on students, the minutes of the March 10 meeting read.
To help educate voters and counter the effects of any misinformation spreading around town, the Waterbury-Duxbury School Board held an informational meeting on March 17 to explain their decision for the revote and answer questions from the public. On Thursday the budget passed by over 200 votes.