CORRECTION: A story on the Ripton Elementary School budget that ran on Page 1A of last Thursday’s Addison Independent had a major inaccuracy. The proposed 2012-2013 Ripton Elementary School spending plan of $775,360, a 5.4-percent increase, will not require two votes at town meeting after all.
Turns out Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) office made an error in its initial calculations, which indicated the Ripton spending plan would trigger two votes under Vermont’s Act 82. That law requires school districts to limit budget increases to the rate of inflation, plus 1 percent. Districts that fail to do so must hold one vote on the portion of the budget that falls under inflation plus 1 percent, and then a separate vote on the portion that exceeds that amount. With that in mind, Ripton was preparing to warn two votes — one for $758,245, and another for $17,115, the amount thought to exceed the Act 82 limit.
But ACSU interim Superintendent Gail Conley reported on Thursday that the original budget number distributed by the district and reported in the story did not reflect expenses — such as special education costs — that districts are allowed to deduct from the Act 82 formula. As a result, the $775,360 budget in fact falls under the Act 82 threshold and will not require two votes, he said.
The Jan. 26 issue of the Independent will feature and overview of all seven elementary school budgets in the ACSU, along with potential property tax impacts.