Wardsboro School District Windham Central SU

April 4, 2017

ACT 46

INTENT

To move the State toward sustainable models of education governance

5 GOALS To encourage and support local decisions and actions that: • provide substantial equity in the quality and variety of educational opportunities • lead students to meet or exceed State EQS • maximize operational efficiencies through greater flexibility to manage, share, and transfer resources • goal of increasing district-level student-to-staff ratios • promote transparency and accountability • delivered at a cost that parents, voters, & taxpayers value

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“Preferred Structure” Legislative Determination: School district is best able to meet Goals if it is • responsible for education of PK-12 • a supervisory district (single-district SU) • 900(+) ADM • organized in 1 of 4 most common structures 5

Act 46: Acknowledgement In some regions – SD w/ 900+ ADM • Not possible • Not best model to achieve Act 46 goals

Act 46: Acknowledgement In some regions – SD w/ 900+ ADM • Not possible • Not best model to achieve Act 46 goals SU with multiple member districts

Act 46: Acknowledgement In some regions – SD w/ 900+ ADM • Not possible • Not best model to achieve Act 46 goals SU with multiple member districts “Alternative” Structures

PHASED APPROACH

2010 – 2019 1. Voluntary Mergers (incl Alt Structures such as Side-by-Side)

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2010 – 2019 1. Voluntary Mergers (incl Alt Structures such as Side-by-Side) 2. Other “Alternative” Proposals under Sec. 9

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2010 – 2019 1. Voluntary Mergers (incl Alt Structures such as Side-by-Side) 2. Other “Alternative” Proposals under Sec. 9 3. and 4. Statewide Plan 12

OPTIONS

OPTIONS Not Necessarily ALL of Them …

OPTIONS Not Necessarily ALL of Them … But Those Most Apparent at this Point

OPTIONS Not Necessarily ALL of Them … But Those Most Apparent at this Point * Current Facts & Current Law *

A. Voluntary Merger

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A. Voluntary Merger 1. Reconsideration Vote

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A. Voluntary Merger 1. Reconsideration Vote 2. Later Vote (by all districts)

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A. Voluntary Merger 1. Reconsideration Vote 2. Later Vote (by all districts)

B. Sec. 9 “Alt Str” Proposal 20

A. Voluntary Merger 1. Reconsideration Vote – May 1 – current terms – “Phase 2” tax rate reductions, etc. (Side-by-Side) – “Yes” votes: • majority of votes & • at least 53 votes

A. Voluntary Merger 2. Later Vote – July 1, 2017 or after – current or different terms – NO tax rate reductions, etc. • EXCEPT if Leg. extends deadline (Nov 30) for previously failed votes – currently in S. 122 – “Yes” votes = majority of votes (in W and in D)

B. Act 46, Sec. 9 Proposal If won’t be in unified district by 7.2019 * Alt Structure to Stay Same * – By November 30 • EXCEPT if Leg. extends deadline (Jan 31) for previously failed votes – currently in S. 122 – Board proposal – voters not formally involved

Statewide Plan Proposals submitted under Sec. 9 considered Additional testimony SBE’s Final Plan either: • Includes Wardsboro in manner it proposes or • Merges to extent necess. / poss. / practicable

COMPARISON

When and by Whom River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

November 30, 2017: W’s May 1, 2017 reconsideration vote of W’s school board is required: • To evaluate ability to meet voters •

[Possibility, if S.122 is passed as now written • Nov 30, 2017 – new vote of both W and D voters]

/ exceed Act 46 goals To discuss regional improvement w/other bds To submit proposal (individually or jointly): -retain current structure - form different structure - work w/other district(s) (e.g., contracts)

[Possibility under S.122, if passed, Jan 30, 2018]

SBE Requires Merger June 1, 2018 – SOE’s proposed plan Nov 30, 2018 – SBE’s plan July 1, 2019 – fully operational

SU & # of Districts River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Windham Central SU remains as is … or has new boundaries

Windham Central SU remains as is … or has new boundaries

Windham Central SU remains as is … or has new boundaries

2 districts become single governing entity (UUSD)

Wardsboro remains separate governing entity

2 districts become single governing entity (UUSD)

Responsible for What? When? River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Responsible for education Responsible for education of W’s & D’s PK-12 students of W’s PK-12 students

Responsible for education of W’s & D’s PK-12 students

Operate Schools K-6 / Pay Tuition Grades 7-12

Operate Schools K-6 / Pay Tuition Grades 7-12

Operate Schools K-6 / Pay Tuition Grades 7-12

Fully Operational July 1, 2019

N/A

Fully Operational July 1, 2019

School Buildings River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Elementary school building in Wardsboro cannot be closed unless W’s voters approve

Wardsboro Elementary School building cannot be closed unless W’s voters approve

Building closure dependent on articles that W-D will develop at the time

Town can buy a closed N/A school building for $1 if the town intends to use it for a public purpose for at least 5 years

Dependent on articles that W-D will develop at the time

Later Building Choices River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

Voters can later choose, e.g.: • To close one school - all students in one bldg. • To close both schools and pay tuition • To contract with another district to operate schools jointly • To merge with another district • To operate fewer grades • Etc.

Voters can later choose, e.g.: • N/A • •

• • •

SBE Requires Merger

Voters can later choose, e.g.: • To close one school - all students in one bldg. To close school and pay • To close both schools tuition and pay tuition To contract with • To contract with another district to another district to operate schools jointly operate schools jointly To merge with another • To merge with another district district To operate fewer • To operate fewer grades grades Etc. • Etc.

School Board River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

1 governing board • 6 members • Members allocated proportionally by town population; updated after each census • 3 = Dover • 3 = Wardsboro • Reside in town • Elected solely by town voters • Each town has at least 1 resident member

Wardsboro School District board remains as it is currently structured and elected

1 governing board • Number of members t/b/d by W-D articles • Model used to achieve proportional rep also t/b/d

Hiring and Deploying River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

UUSD hires employees, regardless of town(s) / building(s) in which the employee works

Wardsboro School District continues to hire its own employees

UUSD hires employees, regardless of town(s) / building(s) in which the employee works

UUSD can transfer / share employees among schools

Employees work in W’s school

UUSD can transfer / share employees among schools

Budgets & Tax Rates River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

UUSD has one unified budget

Wardsboro continues to develop its own budget

UUSD has one unified budget

All UUSD voters vote on budget

Wardsboro voters vote on W’s budget

All UUSD voters vote on budget

UUSD has one unified homestead tax rate

Wardsboro voters have own homestead tax rate

UUSD has one unified homestead tax rate

SU’s Role River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

SU continues to be responsible for hiring/providing : • Special Education • Transportation • Curriculum Coordination

Same

Same

SU continues to: • Develop its budget • Allocate all costs to districts • Voters do not vote directly on the SU budget

Same

Same

Tax Rate Reductions River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

During first 4 years:

Not eligible for homestead tax rate reductions and related provisions

Not eligible for homestead tax rate reductions and related provisions

Unified homestead tax rate is reduced by 8 / 6 / 4 / 2 cents

Homestead income sensitivity – receive comparable benefits If in the year prior to merger, a merging town’s tax rate was: •Lower or higher than the unified tax rate, then town’s tax rate cannot increase or decrease by more than 5% per year until the town’s rate reaches the unified rate

Small Schools Grants River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Small School Grant becomes Annual Merger Support Grant – Paid in perpetuity •Unless small school is closed •If a small school closes & another school is renovated or built to accommodate the addition of those students, then: Grant continues until constr’n bond is paid

July 1, 2019: A school district is eligible for a Small School Grant if the State Board of Education determines that the school district has demonstrated that the: • School is geographically isolated from a another school w/capacity or • School is educationally excellent & fiscally efficient

July 1, 2019: A school district is eligible for a Small School Grant if the State Board of Education determines that the school district has demonstrated that the: • School is geographically isolated from a another school w/capacity or • School is educationally excellent & fiscally efficient

Transition Facilitation Grant River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Transition Facilitation Grant: $150,000 •Less any amount of the $20K) received as Consulting Services Grant

Not eligible

Not eligible

3.5% H.H. Calculation River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Continued eligibility for the 3.5% holdharmless provision (phantom pupils) for declining enrollment

July 1, 2020: A district with declining enrollment will not be eligible for the 3.5% holdharmless provision

July 1, 2020: A district with declining enrollment will not be eligible for the 3.5% holdharmless provision

SBE’s Statewide Plan River Valleys USD

SBE OKs Wardsboro SD

SBE Requires Merger

Exempt from additional merger under the State Board of Ed’s final Statewide Plan

Not exempt from reorganization by the State Board of Education in its final Statewide Plan:

N/A

• Might be merged • Might not be merged

Plan issued by: 11/30/18 Plan implemented by: 7/1/19

SELF-EXAMINATION

• Understanding where district/region is currently in relation to the 5 Goals • Identifying strengths, weakness, trends, etc. • Determining how best to address and support

Just as with merger proposals …

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Sec. 9 Alt Structure requirements are opportunity to:

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Sec. 9 Alt Structure requirements are opportunity to: better understand your district / region

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Sec. 9 Alt Structure requirements are opportunity to: better understand your district / region

AND explain to the State Board what YOU think is best 45

MORE INFORMATION

http://education.vermont.gov/vermont-schools/school-governance

education.vermont.gov • Vermont-Schools • School-Governance • Options • Guidance • Merger Activity

Exploratory & Study Committee Grants Board Membership - Table & Related Information Understanding Your District (Data Sets and Other Information)

Please feel free to contact: Brad James [email protected] 802.479.1043 Donna Russo-Savage [email protected] 802.479.1744

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