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Vast majority of school budgets pass

By Bert Gambini

Buffalo, NY – Unusually high turnout and near unanimous approval of proposed spending plans characterized Tuesday's school budget votes across Western New York. More than half of the school districts in Erie and Niagara Counties reported a 50 percent increase in voter turnout.

Only in Lockport did voters fail to approve a school budget.

Overall, spending plans increased very little. In Erie County, the average increase was just over one percent. School spending in Niagara County dropped by an average of 1.4 percent.

In Cattaraugus County, Allegany-Limestone's budget was defeated. In Chautauqua County, three budgets were defeated -- those in Jamestown, Brocton and Fredonia.

Where spending plans failed to pass, districts can either hold a second vote on the same or a revised budget in June. Or move to a contingency budget, that's determined by state law and based on the inflation rate.