Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chittenden East Voluntary Merger Committee Update

Dear Community Members, 

The Chittenden East Voluntary Merger Committee has completed a preliminary draft of the Modified Union School District Report.  The draft report includes Articles of Agreement which lay out the potential framework for merging Chittenden East Supervisory Union's seven member school districts into one unified school district as well as rationale for the governance change. The Committee has been studying and discussing the advantages, disadvantages and structure of a unified school system for the past seven months. The preliminary draft report linked below represents their collective work to date.  

There will be a public forum on June 2, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at Camels Hump Middle School to discuss and comment on the preliminary draft report.    To share your feedback you can submit comments to this blog, send input to representatives of the committee and/or attend the public forum on June 2nd. 

For more details on the work of the Voluntary Merger Committee and contact information for committee members, please click on the following link: CESU Voluntary Merger .

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mt. Mansfield Union School District Proposed Tax Rate Update

                Tuesday, April 29th, the MMU School Board held a budget information meeting in preparation for the May 6th revote on the Mount Mansfield School District FY15 budget.  At that meeting the calculations shared were based on a proposed 4 cent increase in the statewide property tax of $.98.  That was the recommendation voted out by the full House. Since that time, the Senate Finance committee has been working on that bill (H.884) and their recommendation at this time is that the statewide property tax increase 6 cents to $1.00. The original budget defeated on Town Meeting day had been based on a $1.01 statewide rate (a 7 cent increase). If this 6 cent rate passes the full Senate, the bill will go to a conference committee to determine the final rate. Therefore, it is important to recognize that at this time we do not know if we will end up with a 4, 5 or 6 cent increase in the statewide rate. Please click HERE to see a comparison chart or go to budget page.

                A number of people have asked what happens if the budget does not pass on May 6th? If that happens, the school board must revise the budget again for another revote. However, if a budget is not passed by July 1, we are only authorized to borrow up to 87% of last year's spending level to meet the financial obligations of the school district until a budget is approved. That level of reduction would have serious consequences for the educational programs in the Mount Mansfield School District. Borrowed money has to be paid back, of course, and those payments on the debt would have to be part of the next budget or budgets, further restricting the schools' ability to educate students.

Please Vote on May 6th