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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 16 : Education



(Cite as: 16 V.S.A. § 4001)
  • § 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 fundraising, 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:

    (I) 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; or

    (II) spending on eligible school capital project costs pursuant to the State Board of Education's Rule 6134 for a project that received preliminary approval under section 3448 of this title.

    (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; or

    (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 that is not reimbursed as an extraordinary reimbursement under section 2962 of this title for any 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.

    (xi) Costs incurred by a school district or supervisory union when sampling drinking water outlets, implementing lead remediation, or retesting drinking water outlets as required under 18 V.S.A. chapter 24A.

    (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.

    (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. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § E.514.5; 2015, No. 46, §§ 26, 34; 2015, No. 132 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2017; 2017, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. July 1, 2019; 2019, No. 66, § 2, eff. June 17, 2019; 2021, No. 73, § 18.)