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Newtown Voters Reject Budget with Extra School Security

Officials put an extra $1 million in the school and town budgets to hire extra police officers and unarmed security guards

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    AP
    A bus traveling from Newtown, Conn., to Monroe stops in front of 26 angels along the roadside on the first day of classes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students since the Dec. 14 shooting, in Monroe, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Chalk Hill School in Monroe was overhauled especially for the students from the Sandy Hook School shooting. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

    Newtown residents have rejected a budget that included money for extra school security in the wake of the December school shootings.

    Voters turned down the $72 million school budget by 482 votes and rejected the $39 million town government budget by 62 votes Tuesday.

    Nearly 4,500 residents voted on the plans, which would have increased spending in the next fiscal year.

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    First Selectwoman Pat Llodra said Newtown has a history of voting down budgets.

    "I was disappointed, but I understand.  A 5.2 percent requested increase was more than our community could bear," Llodra said.

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    Officials put an extra $1 million in the school and town budgets to hire extra police officers and unarmed security guards to put in each of Newtown's seven schools.

    The plan was spurred by the shootings that killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    "There's nobody in this town or anywhere that doesn't want their children kept safe," said Peg Zailskas.

    The town council and school district will revise the budget for another referendum.

    Llodra hopes the school security improvements will remain in the revised plan.

    "I'm hoping the council treats it gently and finds some way to make reasonable modifications.