Mary Hogan budget vote to be held on Wednesday

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury voters on Wednesday, April 13, will vote on a proposed 2011-2012 Mary Hogan Elementary School spending plan of $5,899,867, representing a 2.22-percent increase compared to this year. The vote will take place at the school district annual meeting slated to being at 7:30 p.m. in the school gym.
The proposed budget maintains current staffing levels, does not add any new programs and recognizes an enrollment increase of 10 students (for a total of 400), according to Mary Hogan Elementary School Co-principal Tom Buzzell.
While the budget features a 2.22-percent increase in spending, it also reflects a 1-percent decrease in per-pupil spending (from $13,452 per student to $13,310). That lower per-pupil spending rate is related to the larger enrollment numbers.
Middlebury’s homestead education property tax rate is projected to decrease from $1.75 per $100 in property value to $1.74. This is associated with declining per-pupil spending rate and the fact that the estimated Common Level of Appraisal rate for Middlebury is remaining unchanged. The CLA is a feature of the Act 68 state education funding law that aims to make sure all Vermont towns, regardless of how current their town appraisals are, pay a fair education property tax.
The 2.22-percent spending increase is primarily associated with fixed costs, such as surging fuel prices, anticipated increases in electricity, and salary/benefit adjustments for employees of the ID-4 school district.
The proposed budget features $2,953 for a committee to develop a second-language program that will be presented to the Middlebury school board this fall. It will then be up to the board to approve or modify the program for implementation in time for the 2012-2013 academic year.
The Mary Hogan School budget warning features a separate article asking for permission to earmark up to $10,000 in education reserve money for Middlebury-based LandWorks to design a new playground plan for the recreation spaces along the northern and eastern borders of the Mary Hogan building.
That plan — to include citizen and school board input — is to include replacement of the wooden Kidspace structure.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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