Education News

County voters reject most proposed school budgets

RIPTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Principal Meg Cheresnick speaks at the Ripton Town Meeting on Monday night. The proposed budget of her school’s district, ACSD, was one of the only plans in Addison County voters approved on Town Meeting Day.
Independent photo/Megan James

ADDISON COUNTY & BRANDON — Voters in towns that serve the majority of Addison County K-12 students rejected proposed school budgets on Town Meeting Day.

The clearest rejections came in the Otter Valley Unified Union School District, which defeated the board’s $27 million school spending plan 1,325-891. The district operates Otter Valley Union High School and serves the Addison County towns of Leicester, Whiting and Goshen, in addition to Brandon, Sudbury and Pittsford.

Read the full story on OVUUSD’s rejected budget here.

On the northern side of the county, voters in the Mount Abraham Unified School District said no to $37 million in school spending by a tally of 1,341 to 1,113. The five municipalities in the Addison Northwest School District defeated a $28 million budget, 1,282-1,012.

Read the full story on MAUSD’s rejected budget here.

Read the full story on ANWSD’s rejected budget here.

The Slate Valley Unified Union School District, which educates children from Orwell as well as five Rutland County towns, saw its $31 million spending plan go down, 1,538-1,004. School directors there had asked for a 10.1% increase in spending.

Voters in the seven-town Addison Central School District OK’d the $50 million spending plan with a vote of 2,081-1,157, which is convincing but not as large a margin as has been seen in many recent years. 

The budget for the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center, which provides technical instruction to 16 Addison County towns, got the most ringing endorsement from voters. The $5.3 million spending plan garnered 4,867 yes votes to 3,195 no’s.

Read the full story on the approval of ACSD’s and PAHCC’s budgets here.

The Lincoln School District, which serves just one town, approved a nearly $5 million spending plan by voice vote at a Monday evening town meeting, after an hour of discussion.

Read the full story on Lincoln’s town meeting here.

In all school districts, boards struggled with the double-digit rising costs of health insurance for employees, general inflation and the loss of federal money started during the pandemic. Tax rates are particularly under pressure because of the skyrocketing value of homes — many Vermonters pay for their schools with property tax money.

Read about how school budgets took a hit statewide here.

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