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H.88

Introduced by   Representatives Maier of Middlebury, Nuovo of Middlebury and Jewett of Ripton

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; average daily membership calculation; excess spending

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to change the student count for calculating average daily membership from two years including the current year to the prior two years; require that the average daily membership count be provided to school districts by September 1 instead of December 1; remove special education expenditures from the calculation of excess spending; and direct the tax department not to calculate excess spending for fiscal year 2006.

AN ACT RELATING TO CALCULATION OF EXCESS EDUCATION SPENDING AMOUNTS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 4010(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)  On or before the first day of December September during each school year, the commissioner shall determine the average daily membership of each school district for the current school year.  The determination shall list separately:

(1)  resident pupils being provided elementary education; and

(2)  resident pupils being provided secondary education.

(b)  The commissioner shall determine the long-term membership for each school district for each student group described in subsection (a) of this section.  The commissioner shall use the actual average daily membership over two consecutive years, the latter of which is the current most recently completed school year.  If, however, in one year, the actual average daily membership of kindergarten through twelfth grade increases by at least 20 students over the previous year, the commissioner shall compute the long-term membership by adding 80 percent of the actual increase, to a maximum increase of 45 equalized pupils.

Sec. 2.  32 V.S.A. § 5401(12) is amended to read:

(12)  “Excess spending” means the per-equalized pupil amount of the district’s education spending minus the portion of education spending which is approved school capital construction spending and minus the portion of education spending which is for “allowable expenditures for special education” as defined by rule of the state board of education pursuant to subsection 2963(c) of Title 16; in excess of 125 percent of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in the prior fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education.

Sec. 3.  EXCESS SPENDING; DISTRICT SPENDING ADJUSTMENT;

             SUSPENSION

(a)  In December 2005, the department of education experienced a data processing problem which resulted in a delay in releasing equalized pupil counts by the mandated deadline.  As a result, some school districts were forced to develop and print a school budget to be warned for the annual meeting without this information.  Following release of the numbers, some school districts found that the equalized pupil count was lower than expected, and that their education spending per equalized pupil was in excess of 125 percent of the statewide average spending, despite their best efforts to stay below this amount.

(b)  Therefore, in fiscal year 2006, notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 5401(13), district spending adjustment shall be the greater of:  one or a fraction in which the numerator is the district’s education spending per equalized pupil for the school year, and the denominator is the base education payment for the school year, as defined in section 4001 of Title 16.

Sec. 4.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Secs. 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect for fiscal year 2006.

(b)  Sec. 3 of this act shall take effect on passage.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us