School budgets very reasonable
According to the Agency of Education, Barre City ranks No. 242 and Barre Town No. 251, among the lowest on per-pupil spending, compared with other communities in Vermont (education.vermont.gov). Several Budget Committee meetings were held, inviting members of the community to join the discussions, and Barre City even held a public forum for residents to weigh in on the budget (viewable on public access TV at cvtv723.pegcentral.com).
There were many factors that couldn’t be changed, including an over 10 percent increase in health care costs, negotiated salary increases, and special education costs that continue to rise as more students in our community need these services. The cost of busing students continues to rise along with the projected number of students in Barre, one of the schools in the minority that can state this. The outcome could have been a much higher tax rate, but sacrifices that keep classroom sizes higher than desired and technology needs on the back burner were made to present a reasonable budget to voters on Town Meeting Day.
The districts have gone an extra step by putting fliers in the World paper with the details of the school budgets, posting related information on the supervisory union website (bsuvt.org) and using Front Porch Forum (frontporchforum.com) to try to educate residents about what is in the budget. Although some of the lingo may be difficult to understand, the budget is transparent.
I encourage you to vote yes for all Barre schools, from the city to the town to the high school, as we are all working together to bring our community forward. If you still have any questions about the budgets, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barre City Elementary and Middle School Board
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