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Revised SVUUSD budget passes by narrow margin

ORWELL — The third vote was the charm for passing a fiscal year 2021 K-12 budget for the Slate Valley Unified Union District Schools (SVUUSD), which includes Orwell.
District voters on Tuesday endorsed a trimmed, $26,402,586 spending plan by a razor-thin 16-vote margin — 1,324 to 1,308. The budget is $220,455 less than a proposal district residents defeated twice during the past five months.
SVUUSD serves children in the communities of Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven.
Superintendent Brooke Olsen-Farrell was pleased the budget passed, but knows not everyone is happy with the outcome.
“Judging by the slim margin we certainly have a lot of hard work ahead of us as a district,” she said.
Slate Valley was one of the few remaining school districts in Vermont that had yet to OK a fiscal year 2021 spending plan. District voters on Town Meeting Day rejected the original K-12 education budget of $26,623,041 by a vote of 1,585 to 1,490. They defeated it by a much wider, 812-550 tally on June 9.
The budget approved on Tuesday will result in education spending of $16,393.68 per equalized pupil, an amount that’s 1.99% higher than spending for this past school year. The budget represents a decrease of $91,052 when compared to the fiscal year 2020 budget, according to new information posted at slatevalleyunified.org.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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