It's already a multi-million dollar budget and it could go up. Burlington school leaders outlined what they say it will cost to run the system next year.
Dozens of parents and teachers showed up at the Burlington High School cafeteria Tuesday evening for their last shot at voicing concerns about next year's school budget. The proposed $67 million budget for Fiscal Year 2015 would be a roughly $5 million jump from the year before.
"Which is a 6.9 percent increase in spending per pupil. And in that budget basically we are rolling forward a budget deficit that is approximately 2 percent over that budget from last year," said school board chairman Alan Matson.
Many Burlington residents said their biggest issue is what that increase means for taxpayers. School board chairman Alan Matson says it could translate to a 14 percent tax increase.
"From a retiree standpoint you can talk about going up 10 percent year after year after year. I can only keep up maybe a percent and a half a year. I can't sustain this forever and ever," said Ed Wilbur, a Burlington taxpayer.
Along with the proposed increase in spending, Matson says the school board is looking at cutting programs like grade-school Spanish and librarians to keep figures from escalating even further. Resources that many parents say they stand behind and don't want cut.
"Kids only have one chance at an education and when we start cutting this stuff it means that they are missing out," said Kathy Olwell, a Burlington mother.
"My job is to run an effective and cost-efficient school library program. I have to tell you, sitting in front of you, that cutting the library paraprofessional in my building, is one of the least effective ways of delivering service," said Burlington librarian Shannon Walters.
Some spoke out that they don't support cuts of any kind and are supporting the proposal.
"There are so many moving pieces that we need to make sure that we keep functioning, that we keep funding so that all of our students can have the best possible opportunities to be successful," said Brian Williams of Burlington.
As of the publishing of this story the school board had not yet voted. Once a final budget is decided on it will hit the ballots in March to be decided on by voters.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:10:32 GMT
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help. Lincoln will get more than $4.5 million for a bridge repair from Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA also awarded Lebanon more than $3More >>
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Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:58 GMT
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Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:06 GMT
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro. The film is called "The Address". It follows the 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney who have learningMore >>
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Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:58 GMT
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Sunday, March 9 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:59:53 GMT
This towering ice fortress is dazzling visitors to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. "Yeah, this is a wow moment," says visitor Millie Gabriel. "It's an incredible feeling to see people really light upMore >>
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Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
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Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
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Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>