Education Funding

Vermont Lawmakers Approve Cost-Containment Measure

By Bess Keller — June 19, 2007 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2006 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.

Vermont

Green Mountain State lawmakers have enacted an education cost-containment measure that will require residents of high-spending school districts to endorse significant budget increases by means of a separate vote. The compromise measure came in the final hours of the session that wrapped up June 11.

Gov. Jim Douglas
Republican
Senate:
23 Democrats
7 Republicans
House:
93 Democrats
49 Republicans
8 Independent
Enrollment:
95,500

While Gov. Jim Douglas, a Republican, had urged the Democratic-controlled Vermont legislature to tackle tax relief head on, such as by capping property taxes, in the end he agreed to the bill, saying it would have an impact on the problem. The legislation includes a slight reduction in a state property tax that funnels money to local education.

Under the measure, a school district that spends above the statewide average per pupil—currently $10,464—would have to put its budget to voters in two parts if its proposed spending, adjusted for inflation, exceeded a 1 percent increase. The first part would represent up to the 1 percent increase, and the second the additional requested spending. A simple majority of voters would be enough to approve one or both parts of the budget. The system is set to go into effect in 2009.

The measure also calls for officials to provide the legislature with a wide range of information on the possible causes of Vermont’s education costs, which have spiraled upward even as enrollment has declined.

The main appropriation for K-12 schools in the fiscal year that starts next month is $1.06 billion, for a 4.5 percent increase over last year’s amount.

In the session, the legislators also settled the long-simmering issue of public spending for prekindergarten classes by allowing the cost for at least some of the youngest students to be included in the state budget. Districts are not required to provide prekindergarten.

Lawmakers set the first day of school as the Tuesday before Labor Day and mandated the creation of a statewide school calendar that must be approved by the state board of education.

In other action, the legislature earmarked $12 million to help finance training and internships in Vermont workplaces, provide more postsecondary scholarships, and help at-risk youths.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Vermont. See data on Vermont’s public school system.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2007 edition of Education Week


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Reported Essay Are We Asking Schools to Do Too Much?
Schools are increasingly being saddled with new responsibilities. At what point do we decide they are being overwhelmed?
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Education Funding Interactive Look Up How Much COVID Relief Aid Your School District is Getting
The federal government gave schools more than $190 billion to help them recover from the pandemic. But the money was not distributed evenly.
2 min read
Education Funding Explainer Everything You Need to Know About Schools and COVID Relief Funds
How much did your district get in pandemic emergency aid? When must the money be spent? Is there more on the way? EdWeek has the answers.
11 min read
090221 Stimulus Masks AP BS
Dezirae Espinoza wears a face mask while holding a tube of cleaning wipes as she waits to enter Garden Place Elementary School in Denver for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic.
David Zalubowski/AP
Education Funding Why Dems' $82 Billion Proposal for School Buildings Still Isn't Enough
Two new reports highlight the severe disrepair the nation's school infrastructure is in and the crushing district debt the lack of federal and state investment has caused.
4 min read
Founded 55 years ago, Foust Elementary received its latest update 12-25 years ago for their HVAC units. If the school receives funds from the Guilford County Schools bond allocation, they will expand classrooms from the back of the building.
Community members in Guilford, N.C. last week protested the lack of new funding to improve the district's crumbling school facilities.
Abby Gibbs/News & Record via AP