School Finance

   
 
  In this episode of “Education – Join the Conversation” we talk to Bill Talbott, AOE Deputy Secretary & CFO, Marilyn Frederick, Lamoille North SU Business Manager, and Robin Pembroke, Orange Southwest SU Business Manager, about how education is funded in Vermont. Vermont is unique in that it has a statewide property tax system (Act 60 and Act 68) in order to create equitable opportunities for our students no matter where in the state they live.
 
OVERVIEW
   
  The School Finance Team administers Vermont's regular education funding; collects and analyzes school expenditure, enrollment, student dropout, and school staff data for policy-makers; reports various school fiscal and non-fiscal data required by federal law; and provides the calculations for the distribution of federal money to school districts. Staff members also provide training for school business managers several times per year and work closely with the Vermont Association of School Business Officials.
   
REPORTS, AWARD NOTICES & FORMS
   
  School Finance Reports on SkyDrive
Various school finance reports are now stored online within Microsoft’s Skydrive service. Most of these documents are in the PDF format and are available for download. For questions, please contact Sean Cousino, Vermont Agency of Education, at (802) 479-1026 or sean.cousino@state.vt.us.
   
 

Data Collection for Average Classroom Student-to-Teacher Ratio
In 2010, Act 153 was enacted into law. Section 17 (2) directed the Commissioner to present to the House and Senate education committees classroom student-to-teacher ratios at the supervisory union level.

Dates:

Complete and return the survey within the time period of February 18 and March 11.

Important Documents:

  • Memo from School Finance Team
    Explains reasons for collecting the data and how the information will be used.

  • Average Class Size Calculation Sheet
    This Excel file is designed to collect data to allow DOE to calculate an average class size for each supervisory union and supervisory district in Vermont.

  • Instructions
    General instructions pertaining to how to use the Excel spreadsheet, including information on: macros, column types, and more.

Who's NOT Required to Participate:

Teachers of the following classes are excluded from the data collection as these classes may vary widely in number:

  • special education
  • band, orchestra
  • physical education
  • driver’s education
  • English for speakers of other languages
   
 

Two-Vote Provisions: 16 V.S.A. § 563(11)(B)
Section 563(11)(B) of Title 16 requires a school district to present its proposed budget for FY2012 divided into two questions if two conditions are met. The first condition is if the district’s FY2011 education spending per equalized pupil exceeds the FY2011 statewide figure of $12,203.99. If condition one is met, the district must then look at the FY2012 education spending contained in the proposed budget. If the proposed FY2012 education spending exceeds FY2011 education spending adjusted for inflation plus one percent, the district must present its budget as two questions. NOTE: The statute does not address many issues surrounding a budget vote under the two-vote language. The agency has developed technical advice for districts meeting the two-vote criteria in order to assist their planning for two votes.

Preliminary School Tax Information for Town Meeting (FY2012)
Town meeting grids are designed to estimate the amount of education property tax a homeowner would pay on a house and up to two acres for the coming tax year. The grids are based on board- approved preliminary budget data submitted to the department. Town meeting grids may be viewed on the legislative Web site using the link above.

Data Collection Materials & Training Information
Each fiscal year, the agency collects data from Vermont's supervisory unions and school districts. In addition, the agency provides training to help school professionals provide the data. This area provides access to training material, data collection instructions and forms for submitting data to the agency.

   
  Education Jobs Fund Preliminary Overview
This document is a preliminary overview of the Education Jobs Fund as authorized by federal Public Law 111-226. Title I of P.L. 111-226 is the Education Jobs Fund (EJF) and discusses state allocation options, allowable and prohibited uses by the school districts (local education agencies – LEAs) and reporting requirements. Below is the initial guidance released by the U.S. agency of education on August 13, 2010. References to the guidance will be in the format of "letter – number" in parentheses (e.g., (A-1)).
   
 

Estimated Allocation of $19 Million Federal Education Jobs Fund This document lists the district allocations of the $19 million Federal Education Jobs Fund, calculated on the federal requirement by the state funding formula. The money was distributed by Congress with the intention of preventing educator layoffs. This amounts to a 1.67 percent allocation per school district. Contact Brad James at brad.james@state.vt.us or (802) 479-1043.

   
  School Data and Reports 
View reports generated at various times during the year based on data submitted by school districts/supervisory unions.
   
 

Accounting for FY2010 Education Fund Payment
Use the following links to view letters that detail the payments from the FY2010 Education Fund. For school districts whose education costs are covered entirely by education property taxes, the letters direct school districts how to code education property taxes received from the town so as to properly reflect the sources of the money. NOTE: School district letters will be found under their respective supervisory union links below:

   
  Challenges for Change School Budget Reduction Targets
The agency mailed FY12 individualized education spending reduction targets on August 2, 2010 to each supervisory union, supervisory district, and the three technical center districts across the state as required by Act 146 of the 2010 Legislative session. Use the link above to view the complete press release, target figures and methodology.
   
  Data Collection Materials and Training Information
Each fiscal year, the agency collects data from Vermont's supervisory unions and school districts. In addition, the agency provides training to help school professionals provide the data. This area provides access data collection software instructions, reporting instructions and forms for submitting data to the agency. NOTE: For questions regarding data collections, call (802) 828-3777.
   
 

Town and Unified School Districts Tuitioning One or More Grades
This document lists the Vermont school districts that do not operate schools for some or all of the grades K through 12, nor belong to union school districts for those grades. The districts listed are required to pay tuition to other public or approved independent schools for students in the grades indicated. Vermont law requires these school districts to pay full tuition to public schools and tuition up to the Average Announced Tuition for Union Schools to approved independent schools. Updated on September 18, 2013.

Questions?

Brad James at brad.james@state.vt.us or (802) 479-1043

Page Last Updated on March 26, 2014