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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.273

Introduced by Senator Racine of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education spending; divided question for voting budget; repeal

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to repeal the provisions of Secs. 5 and 6 of No. 82 of the Acts of 2007.

AN ACT RELATING TO THE REPEAL OF THE REQUIREMENT THAT BUDGETS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM INFLATION AMOUNT BE PRESENTED TO THE VOTERS AS A DIVIDED QUESTION

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

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 563 is amended to read:

§ 563.  POWERS OF SCHOOL BOARDS; FORM OF VOTE IF BUDGET EXCEEDS BENCHMARK AND DISTRICT SPENDING IS ABOVE AVERAGE

The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law:

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(11)(A)  Shall prepare and distribute annually a proposed budget for the next school year according to such major categories as may from time to time be prescribed by the commissioner. 

(B)  If the proposed budget contains education spending in excess of the Maximum Inflation Amount, and the district’s education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed was in excess of the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil in that same fiscal year, as determined by the commissioner of education, then in lieu of any other statutory or charter form of budget adoption or budget vote, the board shall present the budget to the voters by means of a divided question, in the form of vote provided in subdivision (ii) of this subsection.

(i)  “Maximum Inflation Amount” in this section means:

(I)  the statewide average district education spending per equalized pupil, as defined in subdivision 4001(6) of this title, in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education, multiplied by the New England Economic Project Cumulative Price Index percentage change, as of November 15 preceding distribution of the proposed budget, for state and local government purchases of goods and services for the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed, plus one percentage point; plus the district’s education spending per equalized pupil in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed, as determined by the commissioner of education;

(II)  multiplied by the higher of the following amounts as determined by the commissioner of education:

(aa)  the district’s equalized pupil count in the fiscal year preceding the year for which the budget is proposed; or

(bb)  the district’s equalized pupil count in the fiscal year for which the budget is proposed.

(ii)  Form of vote.

“School Budget Question #1:

Shall the voters of the         School District approve a total budget in the amount of [$                 ], which includes the Maximum Inflation      Amount of education spending?

“School Budget Question #2:

If Question #1 is approved, shall the voters of the School District also approve additional education spending of [$      ]?”

(C)(B)  At a school district’s annual meeting, the electorate may vote to provide notice of availability of the school budget required by this subdivision to the electorate in lieu of distributing the budget.  If the electorate of the school district votes to provide notice of availability, it must specify how notice of availability shall be given, and such notice of availability shall be provided to the electorate at least 30 days before the district’s annual meeting. The proposed budget shall be prepared and distributed at least ten days before a sum of money is voted on by the electorate.  Any proposed budget shall show the following information in a format prescribed by the commissioner of education:

(i)  all revenues from all sources and expenses, including as separate items any assessment for a union school district or a supervisory union of which it is a member, and any tuition to be paid to a technical center;

(ii)  the specific amount of any deficit incurred in the most recently closed fiscal year and how the deficit was or will be remedied;

(iii)  the anticipated homestead tax rate and the percentage of household income used to determine income sensitivity in the district as a result of passage of the budget; including those portions of the tax rate attributable to the union school and supervisory union assessments; and

(iv)  in the case of a school district:

(I)  other than a union school district, the definition of “education spending,” the number of pupils and number of equalized pupils in the school district, and the district’s education spending per equalized pupil in the proposed budget and in each of the prior three years; or

(II)  in the case of a union school district, the amount of the assessment to each of the member districts and the amount of the assessments per equalized pupil in the proposed budget and for the past three years.

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Sec. 2.  REPEAL

Sec. 6 (effective date for requiring a divided question when voting for school budgets that exceed the Maximum Inflation Amount) of No. 82 of the Acts of 2007 is repealed.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us