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State of Vermont

Senate Chamber

Montpelier, Vermont

Senate Resolution

     By Senator Mullin,

     S.R. 6.  Senate resolution relating to urging local school districts and supervisory unions to allocate 65 percent or more of their budgets to direct classroom expenditures.

Whereas, Vermont’s public education system is the cornerstone of our future economic development, and Vermont should endeavor to provide the best education for the next generation of our state’s citizens, 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, these 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, over $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 for the 2007–2008 school year, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges local school districts and supervisory unions to allocate at least 65 percent of their budgets to direct classroom expenditures for the 2007–2008 school year, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate 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.


Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont