On Tuesday, June 12, the Burlington School Board unanimously passed a “Resolution Urging Governor Scott to Refrain from Vetoing H.13.”
The complete resolution is as follows:
Whereas the Burlington School District Board of School Commissioners stands committed to the principle that school district budgets reside under the local control of individual district voters;
Whereas in the fall of 2018, then Vermont Agency of Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe wrote school boards in October 2018 to encourage Districts to strive for more affordable student:staff ratios;Whereas in November 2018, Vermont State Governor Phil Scott signaled a request to Vermont’s school districts to keep fiscal year 2019 spending per pupil growing at the same rate as wages and the economy, which over the last six years, was on average 2.5 percent;
Whereas the Burlington School Board delivered a District budget request to voters that responded to both Secretary Holcombe’s and Governor Scott’s requests by keeping the District’s per pupil spending growth under 2% for fiscal year 2019, and the majority of Vermont’s school districts also complied with Governor Scott’s spending cap request;
Whereas Vermont voters are statutorily required to vote on school district budgets at the tax rate presented, as codified in 16 V.S.A. § 428, and on Vermont’s Town Meeting Day March 5, 2018, 97% of all school district budgets were approved by the voters in these districts’ jurisdictions;
Whereas on or around May 25, 2018 the Vermont State Governor Phil Scott vetoed H. 924, the Legislature’s proposed state budget, and H.911, and act relating to changes in Vermont’s personal income tax and education financing system,
Whereas, on or around June 5, 2018 the Vermont Legislature passed a revised 2019 budget bill H.13 that achieves all of the spending goals identified by the Governor during the 2018 legislative session, as described in the attached “Analysis of the Beck Amendment to H.13 – An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government” compiled by the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office on June 4, 2018;
Whereas, Governor Phil Scott has maintained that he does not support the compromise bill H. 13 that was passed by a vote of 83 to 40 to avert a government shut-down on July 1, 2018;
Whereas, the Burlington Board of School Commissioners does not support as good public policy the use of revenues on a one-time basis to off-set a property tax increase supported by nearly all of Vermont’s school districts to cover educational expenses slated for fiscal year 2019;
Now, therefore be it resolved that the Burlington School District Board of Commissioners hereby strongly discourages Governor Scott from vetoing H.13 so that school districts can proceed to implement the educational programing and administrative activities approved for fiscal year, 2019, which begins July 1, 2018, and to respect Vermont’s statorily governed school budget voting process.
Burlington School District (BSD) is a pre-k-12 public school system of about 4,000 students in Burlington, VT. BSD’s mission is to graduate students who: value different cultures, engage with the community, communicate effectively, think creatively, skillfully solve problems, and achieve at their highest academic, intellectual, and personal potential.