EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (WTNH) — After weeks of heated town hall meetings, East Hampton voters cast their ballots to reject a proposed budget that would have slashed the school district’s funding.
The East Hampton Town Board proposed a school budget of $35.6 million. If it passed, it would have been $800,000 in cuts from the school district.
On the ballot, voters were asked a yes or no question — do they approve of the budget? If the answer is no, they specify if it’s too low or too high. The same two questions are asked about the town’s $17.9 million budget — which also appears to have failed to pass, with most citing that it was too low.
As of unofficial election results Tuesday evening, 2,296 rejected the proposed education budget, and 617 voted in favor of it. Among those, 1,635 voted that it was too low, and 1,117 voted that it was too high.
“If you have kids, it’s too low. If you’re retired, it’s too high,” Nick Sinsigalli of East Hampton said.
“I’m voting to raise the budget. I’m voting ‘no.’ Send it back and give more money back to education.”
The proposed school budget included five teacher layoffs, cuts in curriculum and increased classroom sizes. Math tutors and school psychologists would also face reduced hours.
The district said the $800,000 proposed cuts are due to federal COVID-19 money drying up and high inflation.
The video below aired in the 10 p.m. newscast on May 29, 2023.