COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Residents in Coventry have approved next year’s budget after the first proposal was overwhelmingly rejected.
More than 6,000 Coventry residents voted Thursday during the all-day referendum. The budget passed by a vote of 3,660 to 2,771.
The initial budget was voted down after only 8% of the town’s registered voters weighed in. Many residents who attended a town council meeting last month expressed frustration about the outcome, saying they were unaware of the consequences of voting the budget down, or that a vote was even happening.
After the initial budget was rejected, the district sent layoff notices to 380 Coventry teachers and considered making drastic cuts to athletics and after-school programs.
Upon hearing the concerns of students in the district, the town council decided to adopt a new budget, which meant residents would have a second chance to vote on the budget.
If the budget had been rejected a second time, the town would have operated under a level-funded budget, which district leaders said would have forced them to make the cuts.