Society

Sandy Hook Residents Reject Budget to Beef Up School Security

| by Dabney Bailey
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Newtown has been at the center of the gun control movement over the past four months, so naturally Newtown residents would be the strongest supporters of better gun control laws and increased security in schools.

Right?

Well, not exactly. Newtown residents have rejected two budget plans that would increase security in public schools. Voters turned down a $72 million school budget and a $39 million town government budget.

Of course, the multi-million-dollar budgets might have been overkill, so to speak. Officials had already added $770,000 into the school and town budgets to hire security guards and additional police officers.

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If passed, the higher budget would have given the education system an all-around boost. Jeff Capeci, the chairman of the Legislative Council, explained that the budget would have allowed the government to expand half-day kindergarten to full-day, and it would have enabled schools to acquire better technology.

All of that would have been a nice addition to Newtown schools, but Newtown residents balked at the price tag. Capeci said, “I thought it was an incredibly high increase for this economy. At the end of the day, Newtown voters thought it was too much of an increase.”

Officials will work on a newer, less pricey budget and present it to voters. Based on the results of the previous budget votes, it’s fairly reasonable to assume that a watered-down budgets will pass. Of about 4,500 voters, the $72 million budget failed by 482 votes and the $39 million budget failed by a mere 62 votes. Shaving off a few million will probably be enough to sway those last 100 or so voters.

These voting results are reminiscent of the phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” The tragedy will always be a dark spot in Newtown’s history, but the community (and America on the whole, based on recent polls) is already turning away from laws in favor of stronger gun control and increased security in schools.

Source: National Post