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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

House Resolution

H.R.  12

House resolution urging local school districts and supervisory unions to allocate 65 percent or more of their budgets to direct classroom expenditures

Offered by:  Representatives Errecart of Shelburne, Ainsworth of Royalton, Baker of West Rutland, Canfield of Fair Haven, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Clark of Vergennes, Devereux of Mount Holly, Donahue of Northfield, Flory of Pittsford, Helm of Castleton, Hube of Londonderry, Hudson of Lyndon, Johnson of Canaan, Koch of Barre Town, Krawczyk of Bennington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Livingston of Manchester, Marcotte of Coventry, McAllister of Highgate, Myers of Essex, Shaw of Derby, Sunderland of Rutland Town, Turner of Milton, Winters of Williamstown and Wright of Burlington

Whereas, Vermont’s public education system is the cornerstone of our future economy, and

Whereas, the cost of public education in Vermont now exceeds $1.2 billion, and per-pupil spending exceeds $12,000.00 for the current fiscal year, and

Whereas, although there are basic administrative costs associated with public education, costs have grown faster than the rate of inflation and have contributed significantly to the rapid increases in education costs, and

Whereas, a recently established organization, First Class Education for Vermont (FCEVT), has proposed a 65-percent solution meaning that a minimum of a local school district’s or supervisory union’s budget would be allocated to direct classroom instruction, including teacher salaries and benefits, classroom aide salaries and benefits, instructional materials including textbooks and classroom equipment, including computers, and funding for art, music, and athletic equipment, and

Whereas, the 65-percent figure is premised on the Vermont department of education’s direct instruction column of Table 5 of the summary of statistical reports of secondary schools, and

Whereas, according to the department, the current statewide average for the allocation of local school districts’ and supervisory unions’ budgets to direct classroom instruction has shown a steady decline from 65 percent to approximately 61 percent in recent years, and

Whereas, critics of the 65-percent solution have raised a false alarm that specified expenditures that are not categorized as direct classroom costs would suffer under this proposal when in reality more than $400 million statewide would be allocated for these important services, and

Whereas, despite reports to the contrary, the 65-percent solution has strong bipartisan support and strong support from parents on a national basis, and

Whereas, even in school districts already close to the 65-percent direct classroom expenditure level, this proposal can help school board members by providing a valuable benchmark they can use to scrutinize proposals for additional staff, and

Whereas, the 65-percent solution is not a state mandate but a sensible policy proposal that school board members and voters should examine before voting on school budgets, now therefore be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives:

That this legislative body urges local school districts and supervisory unions to allocate at least 65 percent of their budgets to direct classroom expenditures,  and be it further

Resolved:  That the clerk of the house be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the state board of education, the Vermont School Boards Association, the Vermont Principals’ Association, the Vermont Superintendents’ Association, the Vermont NEA, the chairs of all Vermont school boards, and First Class Education for Vermont.




____________________________              Attested to:

Gaye R. Symington

Speaker of the House


                                                                      Donald G. Milne

                                                                      Clerk, House of Representatives

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont