Whiting school budget rises, but taxes set to decrease

WHITING — The Whiting Elementary School board has adopted the proposed $508,318 spending plan for the 2010-2011 school year, which represents an increase of $17,632, or 3.59 percent, over the current year’s spending plan.
But due to an increase in the number of students in the school, if voters approve the budget on Town Meeting Day their education property tax rate would fall by 7 cents, from $1.20 to $1.13, according to Brenda Fleming, business manager at Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union.
These results, however, do not take into account the common level of appraisal (CLA), a calculation designed to make property taxes fair across the state. Although she doesn’t yet know the exact size of the adjustment the CLA will make in Whiting, Fleming said it surely would raise the final tax rate well above $1.13.
The school board on Jan. 11 approved two significant increases in spending over last year’s budget of $490,686. One was the $5,100 payment that the school will be making on the bond for last summer’s sewer replacement.
The rest of the increase in spending comes from a rise in the supervisory union’s centralized assessment. This year the number of pupils attending Whiting Elementary has risen from to 28 from 26 last year, and Principal Donn Marcus said next year he expects 30 students. Meanwhile, attendance at many other schools in RNeSU has fallen. The centralized assessment cost is a fee that each school district must raise from its member schools each year to pay for central office expenditures. The district calculates the cost for each school proportionally based on the number of students attending.
So although the overall assessment cost for RNeSU will increase only 0.38 percent for the coming school year, Whiting’s share of that cost will increase by 7.8 percent, to just over $12,500.
Even though the Whiting Elementary School’s spending in 2010-2011 will increase, the jump in student population at the school means spending per pupil will drop by $930 per student, from $11,852 to $10,922.

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