All local school spending plans endorsed

ADDISON COUNTY — School directors’ efforts to level-fund or even reduce their 2011-2012 budget proposals paid dividends on Monday and Tuesday, as all education spending plans in the county were endorsed in town meeting voting.
That’s not to say there weren’t some tense moments in some towns. Bridport’s elementary school budget passed by a slim six votes.
But most of the school spending plans passed by comfortable margins, either by voice vote or Australian ballots (see town-by-town results).
Addison County’s four union high school budgets passed with ease, as did the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center spending plan.
The UD-3 school spending plan of $15.6 million passed by a 1,170-720 tally. The budget — which represented a 2.2-percent decrease compared to this year — covers Middlebury Union High School and Middlebury Union Middle School.
The 2011-2012 $8.8 million Vergennes Union High School (VUHS) budget also got a big thumbs up, passing by a 799-446 margin, or 63.6 to 36.4 percent.
Officials had cut $94,000 from the current budget, or almost 1.1 percent. It was the second straight VUHS budget calling for a spending decrease.
All five ANwSU towns backed the VUHS budget, including Addison (201-125), Ferrisburgh (270-160), Panton (49-27), Vergennes (209-104), and Waltham (50-30).
Otter Valley Union High School’s $10.2 million budget sailed to a 1,184 to 754 approval by voters in that district. The spending plan was down substantially from this year’s spending plan of $10,675,885.
The Mount Abraham Union High School budget of $12,618,639 passed by a 1,556-918 margin. The budget plan represents a 0.36-percent increase compared to this year.
Meanwhile, the Hannaford Career Center budget passed by a substantial 4,112-1,728 margin. Steadily surging enrollment and some cost-cutting allowed the career center  board to craft a proposed 2011-2012 budget of $3.34 million that represents a 1.05-percent decrease in spending and what will be a lower tuition rate.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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