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    Budget referendum Tuesday for Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton

    WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — Voters in Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton can vote to approve or reject the 2014-15 school district budget in a referendum scheduled for Tuesday.

    Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Charlestown Town Hall, Hopkinton Town Hall or the H. L. Arnold Fire & Safety Complex in Richmond.

    The proposed $55.3 million budget features no increases in expenses, and uses $1.69 million of the district’s unassigned fund balance, or surplus, to help level the budget. The budget also reduces total town contributions by $556,667, with a decrease of 2.3 percent for Charlestown and 1.3 percent for Hopkinton. Richmond would pay .16 percent more based on an enrollment increase of five students.

    Highlights include the introduction a foreign language program in the elementary schools and security upgrades to the district’s buildings in conjunction with the rollout of the 1:1 initiative, which will provide each student with a school-issued personal computing device.

    If this year’s budget is rejected, the School Committee and Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci will put forth a further-reduced budget allotting for only the minimum requirements as required by the Chariho Act. If the budget fails three times by July 1, the current budget would roll over with a $500,000 increase.



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