The Burlington Board of School Commissioners has approved the School District’s proposed budget for the 2024-2025 school year. The budget passed by a vote of 7-1, and proposes modest investments in the District’s strategic plan offset with reductions, $9.5m in debt payments for the City’s new high school and technical center, and $5.9m in allowances for increased wages and benefits. As a result, the District is anticipating the budget to have a tax impact of 13.97%, driven largely by the State of Vermont’s Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) adjustment for Burlington which showed a 7.87% decline in Burlington’s CLA.
“I want to thank the Burlington Board of School Commissioners for voting to approve our proposed budget in a difficult budget year,” said Superintendent Tom Flanagan. “I want the community to know that I know this is a big ask that is unfortunately driven largely by something that is not the result of school spending decisions. That said, I believe we have landed on a budget proposal that is responsive to the budget pressures as it includes reductions in Central Office operations and makes strategic reductions in a limited number of positions, resulting in about one million dollars in reductions. At the same time, it minimizes impacts on staffing, retains the current level of art positions in elementary schools, and provides us with modest investments in areas such as literacy, mental health support, and our strategic plan.”
Flanagan noted that because of the CLA, the District would have had to cut staffing levels by 50 full-time employees (nearly 12%) in order to put forward a budget with a tax impact of less than 10%. Without the CLA’s increase, Burlington’s budget proposal would have led to a 6.59% tax increase.
The District’s proposed budget now goes to voters. Town Meeting Day is March 5, 2024, and the City will mail ballots to residents in February.
For complete details on the budget, visit www.bsdvt.org/budget. Or see below for a video explaining the budget and the impact of the CLA.