School Budget

Patti Daniels / VPR

South Burlington voters have rejected two school budgets amidst the ongoing debate over the changing of the high school's "rebel" nickname. They'll vote on a third in June.

Tony Talbot / AP/File

House lawmakers are pushing ahead with a controversial plan to consolidate school districts and impose spending limits on public schools. But Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe says they need to be careful they don’t do more harm than good.

One of the trends on Town Meeting Day was that far fewer school budgets were voted down this year than last year. In 2014, 37 school budgets failed.

So far this year, 198 school budgets have been passed and 20 were rejected, with 20 to be voted on.

But in Addison County this year, school budgets faced a rough go, where five were rejected by voters, including two high school budgets that are voted on by several towns together.

Addison County Independent reporter Zach Despart provides analysis of what caused the rejection of the budgets.

Voters in Vernon Tuesday passed a slightly pared-down version of the $4.4 million school budget they rejected at town meeting in March. Vernon School Board Chairman Mike Hebert said the board shaved about $50,000 from the original budget.

"We did say to people that we were going to do as much as we could without changing our offerings in the school and what we need to do to maintain our quality level education," Hebert said.

Flickr/Coldwell Banker Realty

Voters in several of Vermont’s larger communities have rejected school budgets, sending a message to local school boards and perhaps to Montpelier that the proposed tax rates were too high.

The school spending plans went down to defeat in Burlington, Bennington, Rutland and Montpelier. Other communities where budgets were voted down include Colchester, Milton, Westford and Underhill.

Voters in Bennington and Rutland Town head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for or against proposed school budgets. In Bennington this is the third time since March that an FY14 budget has been brought before the voters. It's the fourth time for school officials in Rutland Town. Fiscal Year 2014 budgets go into effect July 1.