Three speakers will be addressing the impact of the state education system on local school budgets at a public presentation and discussion at 6:30pm on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at the Montpelier High School library. The public is invited to attend, ask questions, and join in the discussion.
Montpelier’s proposed school budget is projected to drive up local residential school property taxes by 13% this year, but over half of the increase is due to factors involving the state funding system, and is thus out of the control of the school board. Rising property tax rates caused by the state system are also a concern in other towns this year, and the subject is being discussed in the Legislature as well.
The speakers at the event, which is being organized by Vibrant and Affordable Montpelier, will be:
• Dr. Brian Ricca, Superintendent of Montpelier Schools
• Mark Perrault, an education finance fiscal analyst in the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office, and a Montpelier resident
• Phil Dodd, editor of the Vermont Property Owners Report newsletter, and a Montpelier resident
They will address, respectively, how Montpelier’s school budget was impacted this year, how the state education finance system works, and what modifications could be made to the system.
The focus of the evening will be on the state education finance system rather than the specifics of the proposed Montpelier school budget. Citizens interested in learning more about the budget itself may want to attend Montpelier’s official Pre-Town Meeting at 7pm on Thursday, Feb. 20 in the High School cafeteria, when both city and school officials will be present.
Plans are being made for ORCA to broadcast both events on Channel 17.