CAPE ELIZABETH — A $26.9 million school budget for fiscal year 2020 was approved by voters June 11.

According to the town website, the budget validation referendum passed by a 2-1 margin, 417-207. The unofficial voter turnout was 8%, according to the town clerk’s office.

The budget, which is a 5.9% increase from this year’s $25.4 million, incorporates funds to assess facility needs, a new generator project, and added hours for new full-time teachers, according to Superintendent of Schools Donna Wolfrom.

“We spent a lot of time talking about things that should be cut without compromising the educational experience of our students,” Wolfrom said in a phone interview Wednesday.

She said the School Board found cost savings for residents by working closely with town councilors.

“We met several times throughout the budget process to update each other and really did focus on keeping lines of communication open and trying to be transparent,” Wolfram said.

“We’re very appreciative to the citizens,” she added. 

In a nonbinding follow-up question, 243 voters said the $26.9 million budget was too high, 260 said it was acceptable and 116 said it was too low.

A majority of 456 voters said they want to continue the budget validation referendum process for an additional three years.

It was a mostly quiet Election Day in Cape Elizabeth June 11, where only 8% of the town’s registered voters went to the polls at Cape Elizabeth High School.


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