Voters pass tax override to fund public schools

Leon Yang, Sports Writing Editor

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Photo by Rosa Stern Pait

On May 5, the people of Brookline voted ‘yes’ on Question 1 in the annual town election ballot to institute a property tax increase. This will override a previous tax limit and increase the operating budget of the town’s schools to $7.67 million.

The people of Brookline also voted to give the town debt exemption for the bond needed to renovate the Edward Devotion School.

According to the Brookline Tab, 6,308 people voted in favor of the override, while 3,956 voted against it. 8,173 people voted in favor of the debt exemption, while 1,947 voted against it. The numbers posted on May 5 on the Sagamore Facebook page represented an earlier tally from the Yes for Brookline page, but these numbers are the final count.

According to Headmaster Deborah Holman, the override will allow the high school to avoid having to cut five staff positions and to also maintain reasonable class sizes. In addition, the budget increase will allow the school to maintain variety in classes across departments.

“All around, people feel relief when the override passes,” Holman said.

Holman also said that the passing of the override has enabled more money to be given toward teacher instruction and to sustaining a district wide increase in technology. The Tutorial program will also be retained.

Holman said that there potentially may be another override in the future. Enrollment increases may mean a renovation to the school building.

According to Assistant Headmaster Hal Mason, the override will aid a broad range of expenses, from books to teachers to transportation. He said that that the override would keep the high schools and the other schools of the town operating.

“It would have been a much different school, and a much different school district if the override had not passed,” Mason said.

Leon Yang can be contacted at [email protected]