Rutland voters will decide how to adopt future school budgets

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(Host) Voters in nearly every Vermont town have a chance to say yes or no to their school budget on Town Meeting Day.

But in Rutland City, voters have traditionally trusted their elected school officials on budget matters.

That may change, depending on the outcome of a controversial ballot item.

VPR’s Nina Keck has more.

(Keck) Article Two wants to give Rutland City residents a final say in whether or not their city’s school budget is passed.

Those in favor say it’s a right and a duty that city residents have been denied. And they say it would encourage people to become better informed on school spending.

But those opposed say that opening up the budget to contentious Election Day battles would jeopardize the quality of education in the city. They point out that the city’s school budget evolves at meetings where public input is welcome.

The Rutland Herald voiced its opposition to the measure today calling the article "a misguided effort to curb school spending in a system that already crafts budgets close to the bone.”

Two years ago, a similar measure was voted down by nearly 350 votes. But with local residents struggling with steeper taxes, higher water and fuel bills and poor economic news, there may be more support this time around.

For VPR News, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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