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Newport Teachers Contract Defeated 

  • Officials wait for voters to arrive at the Newport Opera House in Newport, N.H., on March 13, 2018. The Newport School District warrant and the election of school district officers are two items on the ballot. (Valley News - Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Raymond Reid, of Newport, N.H., walks out of a voting booth at the Newport Opera House in Newport on March 13, 2018. People are voting on the Newport School District warrant and the election of school district officers. (Valley News - Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Newport — Voters passed an $18 million school budget, 612-162, during all-day balloting Tuesday but no other appropriations requiring tax dollars were approved.

A one-year teachers contract for $140,000 and a one-year support staff contract for $92,000 were defeated by more than 100 votes, along with $233,000 for an autism program at the middle high school.

Voters approved $125,000, which will come from any budget surplus, not tax dollars, for unanticipated expenses for out-of-district student placements. Also approved was taking $101,000 from the transportation capital reserve fund to buy a bus and van and a proposed solar project with a 25-year power purchase agreement with Norwich Solar Technologies that would provide 100 percent of the school district’s electricity needs. The agreement, which includes a solar array on Richards Elementary School, will still need to be approved by voters at Town Meeting in May.

Placing $50,000 each in the unanticipated educational services expendable trust fund and transportation capital reserve fund, with the money coming from any budget surplus were also defeated.

In addition to rejecting the teacher and staff contracts, voters also said no to holding a special meeting to consider the “cost items only.”

The approved budget was $26,000 less than the default.

Superintendent Cindy Gallagher said by phone Tuesday night that teachers and support staff will now work under the same contracts that are in effect and will not receive pay increases.

“I appreciate that so many people came out to vote in the storm,” Gallagher in a statement. “We will start the year with $18,050,000. Our town was generous in its support of the operating budget. However, I’m very disappointed that neither of the contracts for our staffs passed. These were good contracts that were well negotiated. It is unfortunate that these two articles failed.”

There were no contested elections, with three School Board incumbents returned to office.

Turnout was 19 percent, or 781 of the town’s 4,076 registered voters. “