Residents vote down East Ramapo school budget

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The East Ramapo Central School District's proposed budget went down in flames Tuesday night.

More than 9,000 voters, or about 87 percent, took to the polls and said no to the nearly $235 million proposal. It needed 60 percent approval to pass.

The district's board president released a statement that in part read: "Now it's time to go back to the drawing board to fine tune a plan that addresses the needs of our multi-cultural, beautifully diverse student population, a plan that is good for the children and a plan that can garner voter approval."

Had it passed, taxpayers would have seen a 2.49 percent property tax increase to provide revenue to restore programs, hire a dozen new teachers and expand bus service to private schools.

State Sen. David Carlucci and Assembly members Ellen Jaffee and Ken Zebrowski sent a letter to the state education commissioner, stating in part: "The budget's failure places the strides that have been made in the past year at risk."

A revised budget will be up for vote June 20 if the commissioner approves it. A state spokesperson says monitors will work with district leaders and the commissioner to consider the district's options and move forward.

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