ST. JOHNSBURY-Unlike past years, conversations about the St. Johnsbury school budget are running smoothly. The school board held an informational hearing last night to discuss the proposed budget.
Many community members attended the meeting to voice their opinions. Most of the feedback the board received was positive.
Orginally, the tax increase was two percent, then a pre-kindergarten plan was added to the St. Johnsbury school budget. The pre-k plan did raise the budget, but actually decreased the tax rate.This is due to the tax rate being based on the budget per pupil, rather than the complete budget. The new pre-k program is brining in so many new students that the tax rate went down to a half percent increase.
Last year the tax rate went up six percent. This increase was met with a lot of animosity from residence. The $11 million budget ended up failing three times.
This year, community members are much happier with the budget. Ryan Holt, who has children at the school, feels that an adequate school budget is the a very important part of running a successful town.
“I think that if you’re trying to build a town one of the first questions families ask when they move to it is hows the school, and if you’re not willing to fund you’re school then you’re not willing to do what it takes to attract new families.”
If the budget passes, it will result in $15.9 million dollars for the school. That money will go towards the new pre-kindergarten plan, as well as unfinished classrooms, salary increases, and more.