Bennington- Rutland Supervisory Union

Mettawee School District

Mettawee Community School (West Pawlet)

The Mettawee School district proposed budget is $5,870,038 for fiscal year 2021. Education spending per equalized pupil will be $16,660, an increase of 6.4%.

The district serves the towns of Pawlet and Rupert.

Greater Rutland County Supervisory Union

Quarry Valley Unified Union School District

Proctor Elementary and Junior-Senior High School, Poultney Elementary and High School, West Rutland School

The proposed budget for the Quarry Valley District is $18,146,238, a 3% increase. Spending per equalized pupil is up 1.91% to $16,688.15.

According to GRCSU Business Manager Louis Milazzo, several staffing cuts helped offset expenses to keep the budget from climbing more than 3% higher than last year. Like other districts in the supervisory union, special-education staffing needs and increasing contractual wages and benefits were the main drivers.

The district is part of the Greater Rutland County Supervisory Union, which serves the towns of Proctor, West Rutland, Poultney, Ira, Middletown Springs, Wells and Rutland Town.

Rutland Town School

The proposed Rutland Town School budget for fiscal year 2021 is up 6.09% over last year to a total of $8,424,741.

The school, which serves students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, is part of the Greater Rutland County Supervisory Union, which also serves the towns of Proctor, West Rutland, Poultney, Ira, Middletown Springs and Wells.

One major driver according to Rutland Town School Board Chair Matt Branchaud, was health insurance costs, which are up 12.9% because of the new statewide school employee health insurance plan.

GRCSU Business Manager Louis Milazzo said special education staff and assessment needs made up 24% of the increase. Staffing wages and benefit increases, meanwhile, comprised 29% of the increase.

He said secondary student tuition costs for ninth through 12th graders — that is, tuition the district pays to send students to a school outside the district — accounts for 30% of the budget increase. Part of this is due to an incoming freshman class that is larger than the outgoing seniors.

Wells Springs Unified School District

Wells Village School, Middletown Springs Elementary

The proposed budget for the Wells Springs Unified School District is $5,098,999, up 5.82%. The cost per equalized pupil is $18,317.59, a 12.76% increase.

GRCSU Business Manager Louis Milazzo said one factor driving the increase was secondary tuition, or tuition the district pays to send students to a school outside the district.

Milazzo added, “Unlike the other two districts, Wells Springs is showing an increase in education spending that is far more than the increase in expense. Spending per pupil is up ... due to a decrease in equalized pupils and a decrease in local surplus revenue.”

The district is part of the Greater Rutland County Supervisory Union, which serves the towns of Proctor, West Rutland, Poultney, Ira, Middletown Springs, Wells and Rutland Town.

Ira

The town of Ira, which does not have any schools, but sends students to Greater Rutland County Supervisory Union schools is looking at a proposed budget of $710,903, up 8.12% more than last year. Factors contributing to the increase include a higher tuition rate and a larger number of students in the town.

GRCSU serves the towns of Proctor, West Rutland, Poultney, Ira, Middletown Springs, Wells and Rutland Town.

Mill River Unified Union School District

Shrewsbury Mountain School, Tinmouth Elementary, Wallingford Elementary, Clarendon Elementary, Mill River Union Middle and High School

The proposed budget for Mill River Unified Union School District for fiscal year 2021 is up 6.65% to $18,863,541. Education spending per equalized pupil will be $17,710.81, an increase of 4.22%.

Superintendent David Younce said health benefits and salaries account for the majority of budget cost — about 80% for next year.

A robust student population is a bright spot Younce noted.

“Student enrollment is holding stable across the district, which in a time of declining enrollments across the state is encouraging for our community,” he said.

Younce said he expects tuition funds from Black River High School students will offset the staffing expenses. He said at least 30 Black River students plan to attend Mill River this fall after the Ludlow school closes in June.

Rutland City Public School District

Rutland High School, Rutland Middle School, Rutland Intermediate School, Northwest Primary, Northeast Primary, Stafford Technical Center, Allen Street Campus (middle and high schools), Grove Street Campus (high school)

The proposed budget for Rutland City Public Schools this Town Meeting Day is $58,792,157, a 7.3% increase from last year. Spending per equalized pupil is up 3.2% from last year to $15,927.

Health care and compensation costs are chief among expenses driving up the proposed Rutland City Public School District budget for fiscal year 2021.

A 12.9% increase in health care costs and employee compensation increases are the major drivers.

“All the things driving it are out of our control,” said School Board Chair Dick Courcelle.

Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union

Barstow Unified Union School District

Barstow Memorial School

The Barstow Unified Union School District is looking at a proposed budget of $4,982,262, an increase of 3.8% over last year. Equalized per-pupil spending is $16,134, a 6.32% increase.

RNESU Superintendent Jeanne Collins said the budget is largely “status quo” with few additions or severe cuts. It does add an academic teaching position funded at 50% of full-time.

A 12.9% increase in health care premiums is a major driver as well as rising heating fuel costs and Killington Elementary School tuition costs for a student living on the Pittsfield border.

BUUSD is one of two districts in the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union. It covers the towns of Chittenden and Mendon.

Otter Valley Unified Union School District

Otter Valley Union Middle and High School (Brandon), Leicester Central School, Lothrop Elementary (Pittsford), Neshobe Elementary (Brandon), Whiting Elementary, Sudbury Country School, Otter Creek Academy (a network of three pre-K-6 schools in Leicester, Sudbury and Whiting)

Taxpayers in the Otter Valley Unified Union School District will see a slight increase in the school budget. The proposed budget will be $20,377,427 for fiscal year 2021 — up 2.22% from the current year.

Equalized per-pupil spending is $15,399, a 3.86% increase. According to a budget report provided by OVUUSD, that number is $1,734 below the estimated state average of $17,133.

Laurie Bertrand, chairwoman of the RNESU School Board, said in a time when other school districts are being forced to make cuts, Otter Valley has been able to make additions to better serve the student population.

Those additions include: one full-time academic intervention specialist at OVUHS and one full-time student behavior support specialist at Neshobe Elementary.

Otter Valley is one of two districts in the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union. It covers the towns of Brandon, Goshen, Leicester, Pittsford, Sudbury and Whiting.

Slate Valley Unified Union School District

Fair Haven Union High School, Fair Haven Grade School, Benson Village School, Orwell Village School, Castleton Village School, Castleton Elementary School

The proposed budget for Slate Valley Unified Union School District is looking flat for fiscal year 2021.

The budget, if approved, will be $26,623,041, up less than roughly 0.5% from last year. Education spending per equalized pupil is $16,663.02, a 3.66% increase.

Voters in the district will also be asked to approve a $59,500,000 bond to fund a comprehensive facilities upgrade plan, which will include infrastructure upgrades to the high school, construction of a new district middle school, installation of two new elevators in Fair Haven Grade School and potential construction of a new gym and cafeteria at Orwell Village School.

Slate Valley serves the towns of Benson, Castleton, Fair Haven, West Haven and Orwell.

Two Rivers Supervisory Union

Ludlow Mount Holly Unified Union School District

Mount Holly School, Ludlow Elementary, Black River Middle and High School (Ludlow)

The proposed budget for the Ludlow Mount Holly Unified Union School District for fiscal year 2021 is $7,288,496, a 1.25% decrease. Education spending per equalized pupil will be $18,755.72.

LMHUUSD is part of Two Rivers Supervisory Union.

Windsor Central Modified Unified Union School District

Killington Elementary School, Woodstock Elementary, Woodstock Union Middle and High School, Reading Elementary, Barnard Academy

The proposed total of the school budget for the Windsor Central Modified Unified Union School District hinges on voter approval of a merger with the Barnard School District.

If the merger passes, Killington voters will be looking at a budget of $21,783,948 of which $16,896,833 is to be funded with taxes. Education spending per equalized pupil will be $18,673, a 2.82% increase.

If the merger fails, voters will be asked to approve a budget of $20,676,529 of which $15,668,914. is to be funded with taxes. Education spending per equalized pupil will be $18,754, a 3.27% increase.

— Compiled by Jim Sabataso

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