This year, we face increased budget pressures due to "Challenges for Change." The Vermont Legislature passed a bill (H.792/Act 146) last session calling for voluntary budget reduction targets designed to save the state $38 million in Fiscal Year 2011.
The legislature identified $23.2 million in voluntary budget targets for schools. According to the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA) May legislative wrap-up "school districts collectively are being asked to cut approximately two percent from their fiscal year 2011 education spending." To assign targets to school districts, the law required the state to develop a formula that "must favor Supervisory Unions with districts that (1) have demonstrated fiscal restraint in recent years, (2) have low per-pupil administrative costs, (3) have high student-to-staff ratios, (4) have high percentages of students in poverty or who are English-language learners, or (5) have “other unique circumstances that affect education spending. The Commissioner of Education must notify SUs of their targets by August 1, 2010 The board of each supervisory union and each district within it must notify the Commissioner by December 15, 2010 “whether their combined budgets will be able to meet recommended reductions. (VSBA Legislative Wrap-Up)."