EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 13, 2014

Economy blamed for school budget defeats

Officials blame economy, taxes

(Continued)

Timberlane and Hampstead Superintendent Earl Metzler said he will likely take a different approach when it comes to creating the budget next year.

“I think what we have to do next year is lock ourselves into a certain number or percentage,” he said. “ I want to get under a certain number where people are comfortable. I hope to work to find that number between now and next fall and meet with people to see where that number should be.”

In the Sanborn Regional School District, voters rejected the $33.4 million operating budget, 796-764. The default budget is $33.2 million. Kingston voters approved it while Newton voters rejected the budget.

“It’s a little more disheartening when it passes in one town and doesn’t in another town,” Superintendent Brian Blake said. “I’m not sure why it failed, but the bigger picture is that we have to find a better way in New Hampshire to fund education. We keep having all these local conversations but it really is a statewide issue.”

Metzler said taxes were a major driving point this year.

“Three of the five towns that got hit the most by the tax bill said no to the budget in the polls,” he said. “But you can see that the message we’re getting is to please take our tax bills into consideration.”

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