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Chichester teachers’ contract narrowly defeated, school budget passed

Chichester voters yesterday narrowly defeated a new three-year teachers’ contract that would have increased the town’s tax rate by 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, according to the town moderator.

The contract, which was supported by the school board, called for an additional $50,000 in the coming year’s budget and increases of about $49,000 each of the following two years. Fifty of the 96 residents who attended the school district’s annual meeting yesterday opposed the proposal, seemingly for tax reasons, said the moderator, Doug Hall. The 2013 local tax rate was $17.50; the total tax rate was $25.32.

Hall said opponents noted that teachers who have worked in the district less than 14 years will receive a roughly 4½ percent salary increase regardless of the new contract. Senior teachers – those who have been there longer than 14 years – will receive no salary increases. Hall said about two-thirds of the district’s teachers have senior status.

Voters easily passed a proposed $5.7 million budget for the coming year, Hall said.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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