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School budget turnout: Why it’s plummeting in New York

If you’re seeing fewer residents at the polls to vote on school budgets each May, you’re not alone.

Turnout has plummeted 37 percent since 2012, the state School Boards Association said Tuesday, as voters appear complacent if their districts stay under the property-tax cap.

Turnout for last week’s school budget votes was the lowest since the tax cap was put in place in 2012 — with 50,000 fewer voters than a year ago, the group found in an analysis of state Education Department data.

The total number of votes cast statewide last Tuesday was 505,075 — a 9.5 percent drop from 2017.

Over the six-year period, the number of votes cast fell a whopping 300,000.

“Some of the drop may be blamed on the weather” this year because of heavy storms in the Hudson Valley, said Timothy Kremer, the group’s executive director.

“But it still represents a disturbing trend, since the outcomes of school budgets — and school board races — are being decided by fewer and fewer people.”

IthacaJournal.com:
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