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Residents Of Newport Discuss School Budget Crisis

Residents of Newport and employees of the town’s school district had a chance to discuss the district’s future Saturday, just over a week after its proposed $19 million-dollar operating budget was shot down by voters.

More than 50 people gathered in the Sugar River Bank Community Room on Saturday morning to consider five options involving grade and staff realignment, and cast a vote toward their top choice.

The school board has been faced with the prospect of cutting some $1.7 million dollars in costs, which is the difference between the proposed budget rejected by voters and the $17.2 million dollar default budget they were instead allocated.

Of the five options considered, voters overwhelming supported one that would make no changes to the Towle Elementary School, house pre-K through grade 5 at the Richards School, and grades 6 through 8 at the middle school.

The high school model would not change. A second public meeting was scheduled for Monday night at the same location.

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