Newtown rejects more school security budget

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- Just four months after the Sandy Hook tragedy, Newtown voters have rejected a new budget plan that would have put more security officers in local schools.

It would have cost taxpayers an additional $770,000, but local residents said no.

Disappointment and surprise, when the registrar announced Tuesday night that voters in Newtown had voted down both the municipal and education budgets.

One of the great ironies of the tragedy at Sandy Hook is that all the schools in Newtown had school resource officers except the elementary schools.
The proposed budgets included close to a $1 million to place uniformed school resource officers at those schools too.

"I don't think it was an agenda around 'cops in school,' I really think it was the bottom line. I think asking for a 5.2% increase was more than the community could bear," said First Sel. Pat Llodra, Newtown.
Around town today opinions varied.

"I don't have children in the school system anymore but I have a granddaughter in the school system," said Lynn Kovack, Newtown.

When asked if she doesn't object if taxes have to go up a little to do that, Kovack said, "if that's what it takes, that's what it takes."

"My personal taxes, I believe would have gone up about $600, but I just am not in agreement with putting armed guards in the schools," said Ross Carley, Newtown.
But the plan is not to just put armed guards, but to expand the current program of uniformed, sworn school resource officers, members of the regular police force.

Town leaders start going back to the drawing boards Wednesday night, to trim their budgets and find a way to do it without hiking taxes so much.

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