School budgets OK’d in unified RNeSU districts

BRANDON — Voters in the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union overwhelmingly approved budgets on Tuesday for the new Otter Valley Unified Union School District and Barstow Unified Union School District formed under the state’s Act 46 school consolidation law.
The state’s only side-by-side school district is now fully funded and among the first consolidated districts to be formed under the law, which passed last year.
The OVUU spending plan of $22,604,806 passed by a vote of 1,920-846 by residents in Brandon, Pittsford, Goshen, Leicester, Whiting and Sudbury.
Voters in Chittenden and Mendon easily passed the Barstow Unified Union budget, 679-179.
The members of boards for each district were selected in a special election in January, when voters in all eight towns approved the formation of the side-by-side district.
Rutland Northeast Superintendent Jeanne Collins, who shepherded the move toward consolidation over the last six months, said she was thrilled with vote results Tuesday night.
“It’s a very exciting night,” she said. “Phenomenal support on both the unified school district and the unified budget means we are ready to move forward as a unified community to support all of the children and Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union. I am deeply grateful to the eight towns for their strong support.”
Now that each district has an approved budget, work will begin with an eye toward July 1, when the new districts and boards will be officially certified by Vermont Education Commissioner Rebecca Holcombe. In the meantime, the district boards will elect a moderator, a treasurer and a clerk.
The boards will then be sworn in by their town clerks and have their first reorganizational meeting and elect a board chair and board clerk. They will establish a meeting schedule and adopt a newspaper of record where district public notices and warnings will appear.
After July 1, all new accounts will be created and the district treasurer and the new school districts will start dispersing education funds. 

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