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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 16: Education

Chapter 133: STATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

  • Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • § 4000. Statement of policy

    (a) The intent of this chapter is to make educational opportunity available to each student in each town on substantially equal terms, in accordance with the Vermont Constitution and the Vermont Supreme Court decision of February 5, 1997, Brigham v. State of Vermont.

    (b) [Repealed.]  (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 2003, No. 68, § 25; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 4001. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Average daily membership" of a school district, or if needed in order to calculate the appropriate homestead tax rate, of the municipality as defined in 32 V.S.A. § 5401(9), in any year means:

    (A) The full-time equivalent enrollment of students, as defined by the State Board by rule, who are legal residents of the district or municipality attending a school owned and operated by the district, attending a public school outside the district under section 822a of this title, or for whom the district pays tuition to one or more approved independent schools or public schools outside the district during the annual census period. The census period consists of the 11th day through the 30th day of the school year in which school is actually in session.

    (B) The full-time equivalent enrollment in the year before the last census period, of any State-placed students as defined in subdivision 11(a)(28) of this title. A school district that provides for the education of its students by paying tuition to an approved independent school or public school outside the district shall not count a State-placed student for whom it is paying tuition for purposes of determining average daily membership. A school district that is receiving the full amount, as defined by the State Board by rule, of the student's education costs under subsection 2950(a) of this title, shall not count the student for purposes of determining average daily membership. A State-placed student who is counted in average daily membership shall be counted as a student for the purposes of determining weighted student count.

    (C) The full-time equivalent enrollment for each prekindergarten child as follows: If a child is enrolled in 10 or more hours of prekindergarten education per week or receives 10 or more hours of essential early education services per week, the child shall be counted as one full-time equivalent pupil. If a child is enrolled in six or more but fewer than 10 hours of prekindergarten education per week or if a child receives fewer than 10 hours of essential early education services per week, the child shall be counted as a percentage of one full-time equivalent pupil, calculated as one multiplied by the number of hours per week divided by ten. A child enrolled in prekindergarten education for fewer than six hours per week shall not be included in the district's average daily membership. There is no limit on the total number of children who may be enrolled in prekindergarten education or who receive essential early education services.

    (2) "Equalized grand list" has the same meaning that equalized education property tax grand list has in 32 V.S.A. chapter 135.

    (3) "Equalized pupils" means the long-term weighted average daily membership multiplied by the ratio of the statewide long-term average daily membership to the statewide long-term weighted average daily membership.

    (4), (5) [Repealed.]

    (6) "Education spending" means the amount of the school district budget, any assessment for a joint contract school, career technical center payments made on behalf of the district under subsection 1561(b) of this title, and any amount added to pay a deficit pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 1523(b) that is paid for by the school district, but excluding any portion of the school budget paid for from any other sources such as endowments, parental fund raising, federal funds, nongovernmental grants, or other State funds such as special education funds paid under chapter 101 of this title.

    (A) [Repealed.]

    (B) For purposes of calculating excess spending pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5401(12), "education spending" shall not include:

    (i) Spending during the budget year for approved school capital construction for a project that received preliminary approval under section 3448 of this title, including interest paid on the debt; provided the district shall not be reimbursed or otherwise receive State construction aid for the approved school capital construction.

    (ii) For a project that received final approval for State construction aid under chapter 123 of this title:

    (I) spending for approved school capital construction during the budget year that represents the district's share of the project, including interest paid on the debt;

    (II) payment during the budget year of interest on funds borrowed under subdivision 563(21) of this title in anticipation of receiving State aid for the project.

    (iii) Spending that is approved school capital construction spending or deposited into a reserve fund under 24 V.S.A. § 2804 to pay future approved school capital construction costs, including that portion of tuition paid to an independent school designated as the public high school of the school district pursuant to section 827 of this title for capital construction costs by the independent school that has received approval from the State Board of Education, using the processes for preliminary approval of public school construction costs pursuant to subdivision 3448(a)(2) of this title.

    (iv) Spending attributable to the cost of planning the merger of a small school, which for purposes of this subdivision means a school with an average grade size of 20 or fewer students, with one or more other schools.

    (v) Spending attributable to the district's share of special education spending in excess of $50,000.00 for any one student in the fiscal year occurring two years prior.

    (vi) A budget deficit in a district that pays tuition to a public school or an approved independent school or both for all of its resident students in any year in which the deficit is solely attributable to tuition paid for one or more new students who moved into the district after the budget for the year creating the deficit was passed.

    (vii) For a district that pays tuition for all of its resident students and into which additional students move after the end of the census period defined in subdivision (1)(A) of this section, the number of students that exceeds the district's most recent average daily membership and for whom the district will pay tuition in the subsequent year multiplied by the district's average rate of tuition paid in that year.

    (viii) Tuition paid by a district that does not operate a school and pays tuition for all resident students in kindergarten through grade 12, except in a district in which the electorate has authorized payment of an amount higher than the statutory rate pursuant to subsection 823(b) or 824(c) of this title.

    (ix) The assessment paid by the employer of teachers who become members of the State Teachers' Retirement System of Vermont on or after July 1, 2015, pursuant to section 1944d of this title.

    (x) School district costs associated with dual enrollment and early college programs.

    (7) "Long-term membership" of a school district in any school year means the mean average of the district's average daily membership, excluding full-time equivalent enrollment of State-placed students, over two school years, plus full-time equivalent enrollment of State-placed students for the most recent of the two years.

    (8) "Poverty ratio" means the number of persons in the school district who are aged six through 17 and who are from economically deprived backgrounds, divided by the long-term membership of the school district. A person from an economically deprived background means a person who resides with a family unit receiving nutrition benefits. A person who does not reside with a family unit receiving nutrition benefits but for whom English is not the primary language shall also be counted in the numerator of the ratio. The Secretary shall use a method of measuring the nutrition benefits population that produces data reasonably representative of long-term trends. Persons for whom English is not the primary language shall be identified pursuant to subsection 4010(e) of this title.

    (9) "Public school" means an elementary school or secondary school for which the governing board is publicly elected. A public school may maintain evening or summer school for its students and it shall be considered a public school.

    (10) "School district" means a town school district, city school district, incorporated school district, the member school districts of an interstate school district, a union school district, a unified union district, or an unorganized town or gore.

    (11) "School year" means a year beginning on July 1 and ending on the following June 30.

    (12) "Weighted long-term membership" of a school district in any school year means the long-term membership adjusted pursuant to section 4010 of this title.

    [Subdivision (13) shall apply to fiscal years 2017 and after.]

    (13) "Base education amount" means a number used to calculate categorical grants awarded under this title that is equal to $6,800.00 per equalized pupil, adjusted as required under section 4011 of this title.

    (14) "Adjusted education payment" means the district's education spending per equalized pupil.

    (15) "Prekindergarten child" means a three- or four-year-old child who is enrolled in a prekindergarten program offered by or through a school district pursuant to rules adopted under section 829 of this title or who is receiving essential early education services offered pursuant to section 2956 of this title. Prekindergarten child also means a five-year-old child who otherwise meets the terms of this definition if that child is not yet eligible for or enrolled in kindergarten. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 117, eff. March 11, 1998; 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 166b; 2001, No. 8, § 15; 2003, No. 68, § 15, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 68, § 25; 2003, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2005, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2007, No. 62, §§ 4, 6; 2007, No. 66, § 16; 2007, No. 66, § 17, eff. July 1, 2009; 2007, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 4, 5; 2009, No. 44, §§ 16, 20, 30, eff. May 21, 2009; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § E.500.1, eff. June 3, 2010; 2011, No. 38, § 1, eff. May 19, 2011; 2011, No. 45, § 13d, eff. May 24, 2011; 2011, No. 58, § 17, eff. May 31, 2011; 2011, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 35; 2011, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § E.514.5; 2015, No. 46, §§ 26, 34; 2015, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2017.)

  • § 4002. Payment; allocation

    (a) State and federal funds appropriated for services delivered by the supervisory union and payable through the Agency shall be paid to the order of the supervisory union and administered in accordance with the plan adopted under subdivision 261a(4) of this title. Funding for special education services under section 2969 of this title shall be paid to the districts and supervisory unions in accordance with that section.

    (b) The Secretary shall notify the superintendent or chief executive officer of each supervisory union in writing of federal or State funds disbursed to member school districts. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 234, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2015, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2017.)

  • § 4003. Conditions

    (a) No school district shall receive any aid under this chapter unless that school district complies with the provisions of law relative to teachers' salaries, appointment of superintendents, detailed financial reports to the Agency, and any other requirements of law.

    (b) Aid to any district shall not be denied unless the district unreasonably refuses to comply with the requirements of law. Any school district denied aid by reason of the provisions of this section shall have the right within 60 days from the date of such denial to appeal to the Superior Court in the county where the district is situated. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 235, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)


  • Subchapter 002: GENERAL STATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
  • § 4010. Determination of weighted membership

    (a) On or before the first day of December during each school year, the Secretary shall determine the average daily membership of each school district for the current school year. The determination shall list separately:

    (1) resident prekindergarten children;

    (2) resident students being provided elementary or kindergarten education; and

    (3) resident students being provided secondary education.

    (b) The Secretary shall determine the long-term membership for each school district for each student group described in subsection (a) of this section. The Secretary shall use the actual average daily membership over two consecutive years, the latter of which is the current school year.

    (c) The Secretary shall determine the weighted long-term membership for each school district using the long-term membership from subsection (b) of this section and the following weights for each class:

    Prekindergarten 0.46

    Elementary or kindergarten 1.0

    Secondary 1.13

    (d) The weighted long-term membership calculated under subsection (c) of this section shall be increased for each school district to compensate for additional costs imposed by students from economically deprived backgrounds. The adjustment shall be equal to the total from subsection (c) of this section, multiplied by 25 percent, and further multiplied by the poverty ratio of the district.

    (e) The weighted long-term membership calculated under subsection (c) of this section shall be further increased by 0.2 for each student in average daily membership for whom English is not the primary language.

    [Subsection (f) effective until July 1, 2020; see also subsection (f) effective July 1, 2020.]

    (f) For purposes of the calculation under this section, a district's equalized pupils shall in no case be less than 96 and one-half percent of the actual number of equalized pupils in the district in the previous year, prior to making any adjustment under this subsection.

    [Subsection (f) effective July 1, 2020; see also subsection (f) effective until July 1, 2020 set out above.]

    (f) [Repealed.]

    (g) The Secretary shall develop guidelines to enable clear and consistent identification of students to be counted under this section.

    (h) On December 1 each year, the Secretary shall determine the equalized pupil count for the next fiscal year for district review. The Secretary shall make any necessary corrections on or before December 15, on which date the count shall become final for that year.

    (i) The Secretary shall evaluate the accuracy of the weights established in subsection (c) of this section and, at the beginning of each biennium, shall propose to the House and Senate Committees on Education whether the weights should stay the same or be adjusted. The provisions of 2 V.S.A. § 20(d) (expiration of required reports) shall not apply to the report to be made under this subsection. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1999, No. 49, § 2, eff. June 2, 1999; 2003, No. 68, § 39, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2007, No. 62, § 7; 2007, No. 66, § 19; No. 82, §§ 7, 8; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 236, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 53; 2015, No. 46, § 22, eff. July 1, 2016; 2015, No. 46, § 24, eff. July 1, 2020.)

  • § 4011. Education payments

    (a) Annually, the General Assembly shall appropriate funds to pay for statewide education spending and a portion of a base education amount for each adult diploma student.

    (b) For each fiscal year, the base education amount shall be $6,800.00, increased by the most recent New England Economic Project Cumulative Price Index, as of November 15, for state and local government purchases of goods and services from fiscal year 2005 through the fiscal year for which the amount is being determined, plus an additional one-tenth of one percent.

    (c) Annually, each school district shall receive an education spending payment for support of education costs. An unorganized town or gore shall receive an amount equal to its adjusted education payment for that year for each student based on the weighted average daily membership count, which shall not be equalized. In fiscal years 2007 and after, no district shall receive more than its education spending amount.

    (d) [Repealed.]

    (e) [Repealed.]

    (f) Annually, the Secretary shall pay to a department or agency that provides an adult diploma program, an amount equal to 26 percent of the base education amount for each student who completed the diagnostic portion of the program, based on an average of the previous two years.

    (g) The Secretary shall pay to a school district a percentage of the base education amount for each resident student for whom the district is paying a technical tuition to a regional career technical center but who is not enrolled in the district and therefore not counted in the average daily membership of the district. The percentage of the base education amount to be paid shall be the percentage of the student's full-time equivalent attendance at the career technical center multiplied by 87 percent.

    (h) The Secretary shall make all payments required by subchapter 5 of chapter 23 of this title.

    (i) Annually, by October 1, the Secretary shall send to school boards for inclusion in town reports and publish on the Agency website the following information:

    (1) the statewide average district spending per equalized pupil for the current fiscal year; and 125 percent of that average spending; and

    (2) a statewide comparison of student-teacher ratios among schools that are similar in number of students and number of grades. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 90, 117a, eff. March 11, 1998; 1999, No. 49, § 197; 1999, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 10, 2000; 2001, No. 8, § 16; 2001, No. 63, § 170b; 2003, No. 36, §§ 21, 22; 2003, No. 66, § 187b; 2003, No. 68, § 16, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 25, eff. Feb. 17, 2004; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 174; 2003, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2005, No. 54, § 16; 2005, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2007, No. 66, § 9; 2009, No. 4, § 81, eff. April 24, 2009; 2009, No. 44, § 17, eff. May 21, 2009; 2013, No. 77, § 8; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2017, No. 49, § 29, eff. May 23, 2017.)

  • § 4011a. Repealed. 2017, No. 49, § 31, effective May 23, 2017.

  • § 4012. State-placed students

    (a) A district that provides for the education of its students by paying tuition to an approved independent school or a public school outside the district shall receive from the Secretary an amount equal to the calculated net cost per pupil in the receiving school, as defined in section 825 of this title, prorated for the percentage of annual tuition billed for a State-placed student. If the calculated net cost per pupil in a receiving independent school or school located outside Vermont is not available, the Secretary shall pay the tuition charged. A district shall not receive funds under this section if all the student's education costs are fully paid under subsection 2950(a) of this title.

    (b) A school district shall request reimbursement under this section by submitting tuition bills and documentation of payment to the Secretary. The Secretary shall make reimbursement twice a year, once for requests submitted prior to January 1 and once for requests submitted prior to May 1. Requests submitted on or following May 1 shall be reimbursed in the next payment. The Secretary shall reconcile tuition overcharges in the year following payment to the school district pursuant to section 836 of this title. For the purpose of recovering any tuition overcharge, the Secretary shall be considered a receiving district. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 91, eff. March 11, 1998; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 238, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 4013. [Reserved for future use.]

  • § 4014. Early education

    (a) Grants. The Secretary may grant funds for voluntary early education programs. The funds may be used for personnel costs, training of parents and staff, materials and educational equipment, and other costs related to early education programs.

    (b) The Secretary shall solicit proposals for early education programs from community organizations serving young children. Community organizations include school districts, other public agencies, including Head Start programs, and private agencies, including child care programs and parent-child centers.

    (c) The Secretary also shall investigate to determine those areas that are not served by early education programs and whose children are in greatest need of such services. In those areas, the Secretary shall provide assistance in preparing proposals for grants. In conducting the investigation, the Secretary shall collect and analyze demographic factors that are likely to predict unusual community needs for early education services. The Secretary shall distribute the results of the analysis to all interested persons.

    (d) The Secretary shall evaluate proposals based on the following criteria:

    (1) The program will serve additional children with special needs, such as those who are economically disadvantaged, those who have limited English language skills, those who have a disability, or those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse or neglect.

    (2) The program will rely on early screening of children's development to determine need.

    (3) The program will provide experiential learning activities that are developmentally appropriate for three- and four-year old children. Such activities may be provided in home or group settings or a combination of the two.

    (4) The program will include active parental involvement in program design and in making decisions about services.

    (5) The program has been cooperatively developed by community and school organizations that serve young children in a town or group of towns.

    (6) There is a demonstrated need for the program.

    (7) The program considers the transportation needs of children and parents.

    (8) The program enables children with disabilities to be served in settings with peers who do not have a disability.

    (9) The program includes voluntary training for parents.

    (e) The Secretary shall give preference to programs to be offered in parts of the State that do not have early education services at the time of the application.

    (f) Grant proposals shall be submitted to the Secretary. Grants shall be for one year but may be renewed. No grant may exceed $30,000.00. The Secretary may, in his or her discretion, set other terms of the grant. (Added 1987, No. 68, § 3; amended 2011, No. 58, § 6, eff. May 31, 2011; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 239, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 81.)

  • [Section 4015 effective until July 1, 2019; see also section 4015 effective July 1, 2019.]

    § 4015. Small school support

    (a) In this section:

    (1) "Eligible school district" means a school district that operates at least one school; and

    (A) has a two-year average combined enrollment of fewer than 100 students in all the schools operated by the district; or

    (B) has an average grade size of 20 or fewer.

    (2) "Enrollment" means the number of students who are enrolled in a school operated by the district on October 1. A student shall be counted as one whether the student is enrolled as a full-time or part-time student. Students enrolled in prekindergarten programs shall not be counted.

    (3) "Two-year average enrollment" means the average enrollment of the two most recently completed school years.

    (4) "Average grade size" means two-year average enrollment divided by the number of grades taught in the district on October 1. For purposes of this calculation, kindergarten and prekindergarten programs shall be counted together as one grade.

    (5) "AGS factor" means the following factors for each average grade size:

    Average grade size

                 More than: - but less than or equal to:                  Factor:

                   0                   7                                                             0.19

                   7                   9                                                             0.175

                   9                   10                                                           0.16

                   10                 11                                                           0.145

                   11                 12                                                           0.13

                   12                 13                                                           0.115

                   13                 14                                                           0.10

                   14                 15                                                           0.085

                   15                 16                                                           0.070

                   16                 17                                                           0.055

                   17                 18                                                           0.040

                   18                 19                                                           0.025

                   19                 20                                                           0.015

    (6) "School district" means a town, city, incorporated, interstate, or union school district or a joint contract school established under chapter 11, subchapter 1 of this title.

    (b) Small schools support grant: Annually, the Secretary shall pay a small schools support grant to any eligible school district. The amount of the grant shall be the greater of:

    (1) the amount determined by multiplying the two-year average enrollment in the district by $500.00 and subtracting the product from $50,000.00, with a maximum grant of $2,500.00 per enrolled student; or

    (2) the amount of 87 percent of the base education amount for the current year, multiplied by the two-year average enrollment, multiplied by the AGS factor.

    (c) Small schools financial stability grant:  In addition to a small schools support grant, an eligible school district whose two-year average enrollment decreases by more than 10 percent in any one year shall receive a small schools financial stability grant. However, a decrease due to a reduction in the number of grades offered in a school or to a change in policy regarding paying tuition for students shall not be considered an enrollment decrease. The amount of the grant shall be determined by multiplying 87 percent of the base education amount for the current fiscal year, by the number of enrollment, to the nearest one-hundredth of a percent, necessary to make the two-year average enrollment decrease only 10 percent.

    (d) [Repealed.]

    (e) In the event that a school or schools that have received a grant under this section merge in any year following receipt of a grant, and the consolidated school is not eligible for a grant under this section or the small school grant for the consolidated school is less than the total amount of grant aid the schools would have received if they had not combined, the consolidated school shall continue to receive a grant for three years following consolidation. The amount of the annual grant shall be:

    (1) in the first year following consolidation, an amount equal to the amount received by the school or schools in the last year of eligibility;

    (2) in the second year following consolidation, an amount equal to two-thirds of the amount received in the previous year; and

    (3) in the third year following consolidation, an amount equal to one-third of the amount received in the first year following consolidation. (Added 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 92, eff. March 11, 1998; amended 1999, No. 49, § 3, eff. June 2, 1999; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 2003, No. 68, § 23, eff. July 1, 2004; 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. Feb. 17, 2004; 2007, No. 82, § 28; 2009, No. 44, § 19, eff. May 21, 2009; 2011, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. May 11, 2012; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 240, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2015, No. 48, § 6; 2017, No. 49, § 44, eff. May 23, 2017.)

  • [Section 4015 effective July 1, 2019; see also section 4015 effective until July 1, 2019 set out above and notes set out below.]

    § 4015. Small school support

    (a) In this section:

    (1) "Eligible school district" means a school district that:

    (A) operates at least one school with an average grade size of 20 or fewer; and

    (B) has been determined by the State Board, on an annual basis, to be eligible due to either:

    (i) the lengthy driving times or inhospitable travel routes between the school and the nearest school in which there is excess capacity; or

    (ii) the academic excellence and operational efficiency of the school, which shall be based upon consideration of:

    (I) the school's measurable success in providing a variety of high-quality educational opportunities that meet or exceed the educational quality standards adopted by the State Board pursuant to section 165 of this title;

    (II) the percentage of students from economically deprived backgrounds, as identified pursuant to subsection 4010(d) of this title, and those students' measurable success in achieving positive outcomes;

    (III) the school's high student-to-staff ratios; and

    (IV) the district's participation in a merger study and submission of a merger report to the State Board pursuant to chapter 11 of this title or otherwise.

    (2) "Enrollment" means the number of students who are enrolled in a school operated by the district on October 1. A student shall be counted as one whether the student is enrolled as a full-time or part-time student.

    (3) "Two-year average enrollment" means the average enrollment of the two most recently completed school years.

    (4) "Average grade size" means two-year average enrollment divided by the number of grades taught in the district on October 1. For purposes of this calculation, kindergarten and prekindergarten programs shall be counted together as one grade.

    (5) "AGS factor" means the following factors for each average grade size:

    Average grade size

             More than: - but less than or equal to:                   Factor:

               0                                   7                                       0.19

               7                                   9                                       0.175

               9                                   10                                     0.16

               10                                 11                                     0.145

               11                                 12                                     0.13

               12                                 13                                     0.115

               13                                 14                                     0.10

               14                                 15                                     0.085

               15                                 16                                     0.070

               16                                 17                                     0.055

               17                                 18                                     0.040

               18                                 19                                     0.025

               19                                 20                                     0.015

     (6) "School district" means a town, city, incorporated, interstate, or union school district or a joint contract school established under subchapter 1 of chapter 11 of this title.

    (b) Small schools support grant: Annually, the Secretary shall pay a small schools support grant to any eligible school district. The amount of the grant shall be the greater of:

    (1) the amount determined by multiplying the two-year average enrollment in the district by $500.00 and subtracting the product from $50,000.00, with a maximum grant of $2,500.00 per enrolled student; or

    (2) the amount of 87 percent of the base education amount for the current year, multiplied by the two-year average enrollment, multiplied by the AGS factor.

    (c) [Repealed.]

    (d) [Repealed.]

    (e) In the event that a school or schools that have received a grant under this section merge in any year following receipt of a grant, and the consolidated school is not eligible for a grant under this section or the small school grant for the consolidated school is less than the total amount of grant aid the schools would have received if they had not combined, the consolidated school shall continue to receive a grant for three years following consolidation. The amount of the annual grant shall be:

    (1) in the first year following consolidation, an amount equal to the amount received by the school or schools in the last year of eligibility;

    (2) in the second year following consolidation, an amount equal to two-thirds of the amount received in the previous year; and

    (3) in the third year following consolidation, an amount equal to one-third of the amount received in the first year following consolidation. (Added 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 92, eff. March 11, 1998; amended 1999, No. 49, § 3, eff. June 2, 1999; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 2003, No. 68, § 23, eff. July 1, 2004; 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. Feb. 17, 2004; 2007, No. 82, § 28; 2009, No. 44, § 19, eff. May 21, 2009; 2011, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. May 11, 2012; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 240, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2015, No. 48, § 6; 2015, No. 46, § 20, eff. July 1, 2019.)

  • § 4016. Reimbursement for transportation expenditures

    (a) A school district or supervisory union that incurs allowable transportation expenditures shall receive a transportation reimbursement grant each year. The grant shall be equal to 50 percent of allowable transportation expenditures provided, however, that in any year the total amount of grants under this subsection shall not exceed the total amount of adjusted base year transportation grant expenditures. The total amount of base year transportation grant expenditures shall be $10,000,000.00 for fiscal year 1997, increased each year thereafter by the annual price index for state and local government purchases of goods and services. If in any year the total amount of the grants under this subsection exceed the adjusted base year transportation grant expenditures, the amount of each grant awarded shall be reduced proportionately. Transportation grants paid under this section shall be paid from the Education Fund and shall be added to adjusted education payment receipts paid under section 4011 of this title.

    (b) In this section, "allowable transportation expenditures" means the costs of transporting students to and from school for regular classroom services and shall not include expenditures for transporting students participating in curricular activities that take place off the school grounds or for transporting students participating in cocurricular activities. The State Board shall further define allowable transportation expenditures by rule.

    (c) A district or supervisory union may apply and the Secretary may pay for extraordinary transportation expenditures incurred due to geographic or other conditions such as the need to transport students out of the school district to attend another school because the district does not maintain a public school. The State Board shall define extraordinary transportation expenditures by rule. The total amount of base year extraordinary transportation grant expenditures shall be $250,000.00 for fiscal year 1997, increased each year thereafter by the annual price index for state and local government purchases of goods and services. Extraordinary transportation expenditures shall not be paid out of the funds appropriated under subsection (b) of this section for other transportation expenditures. Grants paid under this section shall be paid from the Education Fund and shall be added to adjusted education payment receipts paid under section 4011 of this title. (Added 2003, No. 107 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; amended 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 241, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 4025. Education fund

    [Subsection (a) effective until July 1, 2018; see also subsection (a) effective July 1, 2018 set out below.]

    (a) The Education Fund is established to comprise the following:

    (1) All revenue paid to the State from the statewide education tax on nonresidential and homestead property under 32 V.S.A. chapter 135.

    (2) For each fiscal year, the amount of the general funds appropriated and transferred to the Education Fund shall be $305,900,000.00, to be increased annually beginning for fiscal year 2018 by the consensus Joint Fiscal Office and Administration determination of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) Implicit Price Deflator for State and Local Government Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis through the fiscal year for which the payment is being determined, plus an additional one-tenth of one percent.

    (3) Revenues from State lotteries under 31 V.S.A. chapter 14, and from any multijurisdictional lottery game authorized under that chapter.

    (4) [Repealed.]

    (5) One-third of the revenues raised from the purchase and use tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. chapter 219, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 11(1).

    (6) Thirty-five percent of the revenues raised from the sales and use tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. chapter 233.

    (7) Medicaid reimbursement funds pursuant to subsection 2959a(f) of this title.

    [Subsection (a) effective July 1, 2018; see also subsection (a) effective until July 1, 2018 set out above.]

    (a) The Education Fund is established to comprise the following:

    (1) All revenue paid to the State from the statewide education tax on nonresidential and homestead property under 32 V.S.A. chapter 135.

    (2) For each fiscal year, the amount of the general funds appropriated and transferred to the Education Fund shall be $305,900,000.00, to be increased annually beginning for fiscal year 2018 by the consensus Joint Fiscal Office and Administration determination of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) Implicit Price Deflator for State and Local Government Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis through the fiscal year for which the payment is being determined, plus an additional one-tenth of one percent.

    (3) Revenues from State lotteries under 31 V.S.A. chapter 14, and from any multijurisdictional lottery game authorized under that chapter.

    (4) [Repealed.]

    (5) One-third of the revenues raised from the purchase and use tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. chapter 219, notwithstanding 19 V.S.A. § 11(1).

    (6) Thirty-six percent of the revenues raised from the sales and use tax imposed by 32 V.S.A. chapter 233.

    (7) Medicaid reimbursement funds pursuant to subsection 2959a(f) of this title.

    (b) Monies in the Education Fund shall be used for the following:

    (1) To make payments to school districts and supervisory unions for the support of education in accordance with the provisions of section 4028 of this title, other provisions of this chapter, and the provisions of 32 V.S.A. chapter 135, to make payments to carry out programs of adult education in accordance with section 945 of this title, and to provide funding for the community high school of Vermont.

    (2) To cover the cost of fund auditing, accounting, and of short-term borrowing to meet fund cash flow requirements.

    (3) To make payments required under 32 V.S.A. § 6066(a)(1) and (2) and only that portion attributable to education taxes, as determined by the Commissioner of Taxes, of payments required under 32 V.S.A. § 6066(a)(3) and 6066(b). The State Treasurer shall withdraw funds from the Education Fund upon warrants issued by the Commissioner of Finance and Management based on information supplied by the Commissioner of Taxes. The Commissioner of Finance and Management may draw warrants for disbursements from the Fund in anticipation of receipts. All balances in the Fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward and remain a part of the Fund. Interest accruing from the Fund shall remain in the Fund.

    (4) To make payments to the Vermont Teachers' Retirement Fund for the normal contribution in accordance with subsection 1944(c) of this title.

    (c) An equalization and reappraisal account is established within the Education Fund. Monies from this account are to be used by the Division of Property Valuation and Review to assist towns with maintenance or reappraisal on a case-by-case basis; and for reappraisal and grand list maintenance assistance payments pursuant to 32 V.S.A. §§ 4041a and 5405(f).

    (d) Upon withdrawal of funds from the Education Fund for any purpose other than those authorized by this section, 32 V.S.A. chapter 135 (education property tax) is repealed. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. March 11, 1998, § 68; 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 159(a); 1999, No. 1, § 102, eff. March 31, 1999; 1999, No. 62, § 127; 1999, No. 66 (Adj. Sess.), § 52, eff. Feb. 8, 2000; 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 166b; 2001, No. 63, § 277; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 35a, eff. May 15, 2002; 2003, No. 19, § 50, eff. May 6, 2003; 2003, No. 68, § 36, eff. July 1, 2004; 2005, No. 38, § 4a, eff. June 2, 2005; 2005, No. 215 (Adj. Sess.), § 285; 2007, No. 65, § 184; 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § E.513.1, eff. June 2, 2009; 2009, No. 67 (Adj. Sess.), § 63, eff. Feb. 25, 2010; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § E.139; 2011, No. 63, § E.513.1, eff. July 1, 2012; 2011, No. 63, § E.513.2; 2011, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 56, eff. July 1, 2013; 2013, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § E.513.1; 2015, No. 48, § 7; 2015, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § E.513; 2017, No. 85, § E.500.2; 2017, No. 85, § H.3, eff. July 1, 2018.)

  • § 4026. Education Fund budget stabilization reserve; creation and purpose

    (a) It is the purpose of this section to reduce the effects of annual variations in State revenues upon the Education Fund budget of the State by reserving certain surpluses in Education Fund revenues that may accrue for the purpose of offsetting deficits.

    (b) There is hereby created an Education Fund budget stabilization reserve determined on a budgetary basis and administered by the Commissioner of Finance and Management. Any budgetary basis undesignated Education Fund surplus occurring at the close of a fiscal year shall be reserved within the Education Fund budget stabilization reserve, provided that the balance reserved shall not exceed five percent of the prior fiscal year education fund appropriations, reduced by the amount distributed to school districts by municipalities for netting purposes under 32 V.S.A. § 5402(c), and any additional amounts as may be authorized by the General Assembly. Any undesignated Education Fund surplus and accrued interest remaining after the Education Fund budget stabilization reserve has been brought to the maximum authorized level shall remain in the Education Fund. When the General Assembly next meets, it may specifically appropriate the use of the undesignated Education Fund surplus for increased support for education.

    (c) In any fiscal year, if the Education Fund is found to have an undesignated fund deficit, the Education Fund budget stabilization reserve shall be used by the Commissioner of Finance and Management to the extent necessary to offset the undesignated fund deficit as determined by generally accepted accounting principles.

    (d) Determination of the amount of the undesignated Education Fund surplus or fund deficit in any fiscal year for the purposes of this section shall be made by the Commissioner of Finance and Management. Adjustments shall be made to the amounts authorized in subsections (b) and (c) of this section upon receipt of the final audited annual report of the Commissioner of Finance and Management.

    (e) The enactment of this chapter and other provisions of the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of which it is a part have been premised upon estimates of balances of revenues to be raised and expenditures to be made under the act for such purposes as adjusted education payments, categorical State support grants, provisions for property tax income sensitivity, payments in lieu of taxes, current use value appraisals, tax stabilization agreements, the stabilization reserve established by this section and for other purposes. If the stabilization reserve established under this section should in any fiscal year be less than 3.5 percent of the prior fiscal year's appropriations from the Education Fund, as defined in subsection (b) of this section, the Joint Fiscal Committee shall review the information provided pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5402b and provide the General Assembly its recommendations for change necessary to restore the stabilization reserve to the statutory level provided in subsection (b) of this section. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 94, eff. March 11, 1998; 2001, No. 63, § 265; 2001, No. 110 (Adj. Sess.), § 46, eff. May 23, 2002; 2003, No. 68, § 26, eff. June 18, 2003.)

  • § 4027. Education Fund transfer amounts

    (a) [Repealed.]

    (b) Annually, on or before June 1, each superintendent shall report to the Agency, on a form prescribed by the Secretary, each education budget that was adopted by May 1 for the following fiscal year by the member districts of the supervisory union and for which no petition for reconsideration has been filed. A superintendent shall report a budget adopted following May 1, to the Agency, between 30 to 40 days following adoption, or, if a petition for reconsideration has been filed, within 10 days of final adoption of the budget. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 5, 95, eff. March 11, 1998; 1999, No. 49, § 20, eff. June 2, 1999; 1999, No. 62, § 174a; 1999, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 10, 2000; 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 166a; 2001, No. 63, § 165a, eff. June 16, 2001; 2003, No. 68, § 19, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 107 (Adj. Sess.), § 21; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294w; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 242, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 4028. Fund payments to school districts

    (a) On or before September 10, December 10, and April 30 of each school year, one-third of the adjusted education payment under section 4011 of this title shall become due to school districts; except that districts that have not adopted a budget by 30 days before the date of payment under this subsection shall receive one-quarter of the base education amount, and upon adoption of a budget shall receive additional amounts due under this subsection.

    (b) Payments made for special education under chapter 101 of this title, for career technical education under chapter 37 of this title, and for other aid and categorical grants paid for support of education shall also be from the Education Fund.

    (c)(1) Any district that has adopted a school budget that includes high spending, as defined in 32 V.S.A. § 5401(12), shall, upon timely notice, be authorized to use a portion of its high spending penalty to reduce future education spending:

    (A) by entering into a contract with an operational efficiency consultant or a financial systems consultant to examine issues such as transportation arrangements, administrative costs, staffing patterns, and the potential for collaboration with other districts;

    (B) by entering into a contract with an energy or facilities management consultant; or

    (C) by engaging in discussions with other school districts about reorganization or consolidation for better service delivery at a lower cost.

    (2) To the extent approved by the Secretary, the Agency shall pay the district from the property tax revenue to be generated by the high spending increase to the district's spending adjustment as estimated by the Secretary, up to a maximum of $5,000.00. For the purposes of this subsection, "timely notice" means written notice from the district to the Secretary by September 30 of the budget year. If the district enters into a contract with a consultant pursuant to this subsection, the consultant shall not be an employee of the district or of the Agency. A copy of the consultant's final recommendations or a copy of the district's recommendations regarding reorganization, as appropriate, shall be submitted to the Secretary, and each affected town shall include in its next town report an executive summary of the consultant's or district's final recommendations and notice of where a complete copy is available. No district is authorized to obtain funds under this section more than one time in every five years.

    (d) Notwithstanding 2 V.S.A. § 502(b)(2), the Joint Fiscal Office shall prepare a fiscal note for any legislation that requires a supervisory union or school district to perform any action with an associated cost, but does not provide money or a funding mechanism for fulfilling that obligation. Any fiscal note prepared under this subsection shall be completed no later than the date that the legislation is considered for a vote in the first committee to which it is referred. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 70, eff. July 1, 1999; 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.),§ 118, eff. March 11, 1998; 1997, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 159(b); 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 166b; 2003, No. 68, § 20, eff. June 18, 2003; 2005, No. 38, § 10, eff. June 2, 2005; 2007, No. 66, § 10; 2009, No. 44, § 19, eff. May 21, 2009; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 243, 302, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2013, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 68, eff. June 4, 2014; 2015, No. 23, § 41.)

  • § 4029. Use of funds for education

    (a) Funds received by a school district may be used only for legitimate items of current education expense and shall not be used for municipal services.

    (b) Funds received by a municipality other than a school district may not be used directly or indirectly for education expenses.

    (c) If the Secretary determines that a school district has spent funds paid under section 4028 of this title for an item that is not a legitimate item of current education expense, the treasurer of the municipality shall, within 90 days, remit the amount of the expenditure to the Education Fund. The treasurer shall use funds raised pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2664, 20 V.S.A. § 2601, or 24 V.S.A. § 1309 for this purpose. If the Secretary determines that a municipality other than a school district has spent funds for an item that is a legitimate item of current education expense, the treasurer of the municipality shall transfer the amount of the expenditure from the local education fund to the municipal fund.

    (d) The legislative body of a school district or other municipality may appeal a decision of the Secretary under this section to the State Board, which shall hear the appeal de novo in the manner provided by 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 for the hearing of contested cases. A legislative body of a school district or other municipality may appeal a decision of the State Board to the Superior Court of the district in which the municipality is located. The Superior Court shall hear the matter de novo in the manner provided by Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. An appeal from the decision of the Superior Court shall be to the Supreme Court under the Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure.

    (e) For the purposes of this section, notwithstanding any provision of municipal law to the contrary, "legitimate items of current educational expense" may include reasonable payments to a municipality for services performed on behalf of a school district by its corresponding town or city clerk, the town or city treasurer, or the town or city auditors.

    (f) Annually, on a form prescribed by the Secretary, each school district shall report for the previous school year the amount it paid to or received from its corresponding municipality or municipal officials, including any payments made pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, and any property or in-kind services it donated to or received from its corresponding municipality. (Added 1997, No. 60, § 18, eff. July 1, 1998; amended 1999, No. 49, § 21, eff. June 2, 1999; 2003, No. 68, § 22, eff. June 18, 2003; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 244, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 4030. Data submission; corrections

    (a) Upon discovering an error or change in data submitted to the Secretary for the purpose of determining payments to or from the Education Fund, a school district shall report the error or change to the Secretary as soon as possible. Any budget deficit or surplus due to the error or change shall be carried forward to the following year.

    (b) The Secretary shall use data submitted on or before January 15 prior to the fiscal year that begins the following July 1, in order to calculate the amounts due each school district for any fiscal year for the following:

    (1) transportation aid due under section 4016 of this title; and

    (2) the small school support grant due under section 4015 of this title.

    (c) The Secretary shall use data corrections regarding local education budget amounts submitted on or before June 15 prior to the fiscal year that begins the following July 1, in order to calculate the education payments due under section 4011 of this title. However, the Secretary may use data submitted after June 15 and prior to July 15 due to unusual or exceptional circumstances as determined by the Secretary.

    (d) The Secretary shall not use data corrected due to an error submitted following the deadlines to recalculate the equalized pupil ratio under subdivision 4001(3) of this title. The Secretary shall not adjust average daily membership counts if an error or change is reported more than three fiscal years following the date that the original data was due.

    (e) The State Board may adopt rules as necessary to implement the provisions of this section. (Added 1999, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 10, 2000; amended 2003, No. 36, § 18; 2003, No. 68, § 27, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 107 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; 2011, No. 58, § 7; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 245, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)

  • § 4031. Unorganized towns and gores

    (a) For a municipality that, as of January 1, 2004 is an unorganized town or gore, its education property tax spending adjustment under 32 V.S.A. § 5401(13) shall be one for purposes of determining the tax rate under 32 V.S.A. § 5402(a)(2).

    (b) For purposes of a claim for property tax adjustment under 32 V.S.A. chapter 154 by a taxpayer in a municipality affected under this section, the applicable percentage shall not be multiplied by a spending adjustment under 32 V.S.A. § 5401(13). (Added 2003, No. 36, § 23; 2003, No. 68, § 17, eff. July 1, 2004; amended 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. Feb. 17, 2004.; 2015, No. 46, § 31.)