Opinion: ANwSU voters urged to support VUHS spending plan

As directors of Vergennes Union High School, we write to urge the voters of Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes and Waltham to vote in support of the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget. We believe the proposed budget delivers value to our community in the following ways:
• In order to prepare our students for careers and college education, the proposed budget reflects a commitment to maintain a robust curriculum and programs typical of a comprehensive high school and progressive middle school. A high-quality school system is a critical factor in making the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union communities a desirable place to live and work.
• The proposed budget reaches the right balance between cost and value. Using actual enrollment data and a prudent class size policy, the proposed budget reflects a reduction of four full-time equivalent staff across various content areas, without reducing the academic programs offered to students.
• To compete in an era of declining student numbers and school choice options, VUHS must be innovative, nimble and attractive to both students and highly qualified faculty. The proposed budget supports these goals, along with a commitment to improving educational outcomes for all our students.
The proposed budget reflects an accurate forecast of the true cost to operate the programs and facility, and corrects the mismanagement by former administrators that resulted in deficit spending in prior years. Some of that increase in cost is offset by increases in other sources of revenue, such as state aid, resulting in what is called “total educational spending.” The increase in total educational spending for FY ’16 as compared to the current year is projected to be 1.02 percent. We believe this is a responsible proposal, worthy of support.
For more information about the proposed budget, please see https://sites.google.com/a/anwsu.org/anwsu1/, contact Superintendent JoAn Canning at 877-3332, or contact one of us (see www.vuhs.org/boardinfo).
Please be sure to vote on Tuesday, May 5. Should you need one, an absentee ballot can be obtained from your town clerk. Thank you for your support.
Laurie Childers, Addison
Chris Cousineau, Vergennes
George Gardner, Ferrisburgh
Jeff Glassberg, Waltham
Kurt Haigis, Ferrisburgh
Neil Kamman, Vergennes
Richard Rathbun, Panton

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