Voters ignored calls for defeat by officials in Saco and Dayton and overwhelmingly passed the Regional School Unit 23 budget Tuesday.

Unofficial figures indicate the $42.5 million budget for schools in Saco, Dayton and Old Orchard Beach passed 3,946-2,145, or 65 percent to 35 percent, according to school distict officials.

The Saco City Council unanimously passed a resolution last week urging voters to reject the measure. They argued that schools in Old Orchard Beach are spending more per student that those in Saco and Dayton and also said the new school unit – it began operating last July – should be producing savings and not the modest increase in spending called for in the budget.

Dayton’s selectmen also urged defeat, although they didn’t adopt a formal resolution. Dayton taxpayers will have to pay 5.66 percent more for education this coming year because of the slightly larger budget and a change in the cost-sharing formula.

Old Orchard Beach will see a decline of 2 percent in what it must provide the school district while Saco residents will pay 0.03 percent more.

Old Orchard Beach voters overwhelmingly approved the budget, passing it bya 80 percent to 20 percent margin, while Dayton voters rejected the spending package, 74 percent 26 percent. In Saco, voters backed the budet 64 percent to 36 percent.


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