Lyme-Old Lyme voters support education budget

Lyme and Old Lyme residents voted 408 to 111 in support of the 2018-19 education budget for the regional school district at a referendum Tuesday. 

The spending plan for Lyme-Old Lyme schools next year is $34,298,528, which represents a 1.97 percent increase over this year's plan.  

The vote was 141-21 among Lyme residents and 267-90 among Old Lyme residents.

"We appreciate the continued support of both towns and will continue to work to provide a top notch educational experience for all the students in our district," Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a statement to reporters Tuesday evening.

Rising health insurance costs were the largest factor in the budget increase for next year, Neviaser has said. The budget doesn't propose any new programs but provides funding for support and training for Next Generation Science Standards and network infrastructure improvements, according to Neviaser.

Under the budget proposal, the district plans to reduce two certified staff members, a result of declining elementary school enrollment, Neviaser has said.

Capital funding is set to decrease next year. The capital budget includes money for the design of an artificial turf field proposal and efforts to gain approval for the field; the replacement of the gymnasium floor at Center School and a fuel oil tank at the Mile Creek School, according to a PowerPoint presentation from a February budget forum.

Though the education budget is increasing for next year, both Lyme and Old Lyme are anticipated to pay less for education next year, due to billing credits from unspent education funding from the 2016-17 school year.

k.drelich@theday.com

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