Seaford School District Referendum Voted Down; Cuts Looming - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Seaford School District Referendum Voted Down; Cuts Looming

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SEAFORD, Del.- In a 1,900-574 vote, residents of the Seaford School District on Thursday voted down a budget referendum that would have increased property taxes. The district said it needed the funding to help continue several educational programs.

But Seaford residents, especially area farmers, were heavily against the tax increase. Many residents said they were already overburdened with taxes.

"I think we pay enough taxes as is," Robert George said.

Some voters said the district needs to use the money they already have more wisely.

"They can use the money they do have in better ways," Frederick Clay-Benofksy said. "There's other school districts, like Laurel, [which] was in a big bind. Look at the school they've built and how they've used their money on it.

Many were glad about the defeat but for the less than 600 voters who were in favor of the referendum this was a disappointment.

"All the kids are going somewhere else instead of Seaford and they need to get the school back to where it used to be," Betsy Carmine said.

The referendum was supposed to pay for programs implemented under Race To The Top but the cost of a tax increase was too much to bear for some voters.

"Farmers, they don't need to go through this," Susan Gill said. "I mean milk is going up, that's enough...they don't need all of this."

Now the school district must look elsewhere for funding, or possibly cut jobs and programs. Just after the vote total was released, Interim Superintendent Dr. Kevin Carson released this statement: "Beginning tomorrow we will earnestly review our available budgets and begin developing recommendations for the appropriate reductions which will be necessary."

"It would mean some really tough cuts," said Seaford High School Principal Todd Fishburne. "The talk of possibly losing some programs, maybe some people but we would have to be very creative with the current dollars that we have to keep our programs that we have in place."

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