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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 16 : Education

Chapter 133 : STATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

Subchapter 002 : GENERAL STATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

(Cite as: 16 V.S.A. § 4010)
  • [Section 4010 effective until July 1, 2024; see also section 4010 effective July 1, 2024 set out below.]

    § 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.

    (f) For purposes of determining weighted membership 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 section.

    (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; 2021, No. 73, § 19, eff. June 8, 2021.)

  • [Section 4010 effective July 1, 2024; see also section 4010 effective until July 1, 2024 set out above.]

    § 4010. Determination of weighted long-term membership and per pupil education spending

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section:

    (1) “EL pupils” means pupils described under section 4013 of this title.

    (2) “FPL” means the Federal Poverty Level.

    (3) “Weighting categories” means the categories listed under subsection (b) of this section.

    (b) Determination of average daily membership and weighting categories. On or before the first day of December during each school year, the Secretary shall determine the average daily membership, as defined in subdivision 4001(1) of this title, of each school district for the current school year and shall perform the following tasks.

    (1) Using average daily membership, list for each school district the number of:

    (A) pupils in prekindergarten;

    (B) pupils in kindergarten through grade five;

    (C) pupils in grades six through eight;

    (D) pupils in grades nine through 12;

    (E) pupils whose families are at or below 185 percent of FPL, using the highest number of pupils in the district:

    (i) that meet this definition under the universal income declaration form; or

    (ii) who are directly certified for free and reduced-priced meals; and

    (F) EL pupils.

    (2)(A) Identify all school districts that have low population density, measured by the number of persons per square mile residing within the land area of the geographic boundaries of the district as of July 1 of the year of determination, equaling:

    (i) fewer than 36 persons per square mile;

    (ii) 36 or more persons per square mile but fewer than 55 persons per square mile; or

    (iii) 55 or more persons per square mile but fewer than 100 persons per square mile.

    (B) Population density data shall be based on the best available U.S. Census data as provided to the Agency of Education by the Vermont Center for Geographic Information.

    (C) Using average daily membership, list for each school district that has low population density the number of pupils in each of subdivisions (A)(i)–(iii) of this subdivision (2).

    (3)(A) Identify all school districts that have one or more small schools, which are schools that have an average two-year enrollment of:

    (i) fewer than 100 pupils; or

    (ii) 100 or more pupils but fewer than 250 pupils.

    (B) As used in subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3), “average two- year enrollment” means the average enrollment of the two most recently completed school years, and “enrollment” means the number of pupils who are enrolled in a school operated by the district on October 1. A pupil shall be counted as one whether the pupil is enrolled as a full-time or part-time student.

    (C) Using average two-year enrollment, list for each school district that has a small school the number of pupils in each of subdivisions (A)(i)–(ii) of this subdivision (3).

    (c) Reporting on weighting categories to the Agency of Education. Each school district shall annually report to the Agency of Education by a date established by the Agency the information needed in order for the Agency to compute the weighting categories under subsection (b) of this section for that district. In order to fulfill this obligation, a school district that pays public tuition on behalf of a resident student (sending district) to a public school in another school district, an approved independent school, or an out-of-state school (each a receiving school) may request the receiving school to collect this information on the sending district’s resident student, and if requested, the receiving school shall provide this information to the sending district in a timely manner.

    (d) Determination of weighted long-term membership. For each weighting category except the small schools weighting category under subdivision (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary shall compute the weighting count by using the long-term membership, as defined in subdivision 4001(7) of this title, in that category.

    (1) The Secretary shall first apply grade level weights. Each pupil included in long-term membership shall count as one, multiplied by the following amounts:

    (A) prekindergarten—negative 0.54;

    (B) grades six through eight—0.36; and

    (C) grades nine through 12—0.39.

    (2) The Secretary shall next apply a weight for pupils whose family is at or below 185 percent of FPL. Each pupil included in long-term membership whose family is at or below 185 percent of FPL shall receive an additional weighting amount of 1.03.

    (3) The Secretary shall next apply a weight for EL pupils. Each EL pupil included in long-term membership shall receive an additional weighting amount of 2.49.

    (4) The Secretary shall then apply a weight for pupils living in low population density school districts. Each pupil included in long-term membership residing in a low population density school district, measured by the number of persons per square mile residing within the land area of the geographic boundaries of the district as of July 1 of the year of determination, shall receive an additional weighting amount of:

    (A) 0.15, where the number of persons per square mile is fewer than 36 persons;

    (B) 0.12, where the number of persons per square mile is 36 or more but fewer than 55 persons; or

    (C) 0.07, where the number of persons per square mile is 55 or more but fewer than 100.

    (5) The Secretary shall lastly apply a weight for pupils who attend a small school. If the number of persons per square mile residing within the land area of the geographic boundaries of a school district as of July 1 of the year of determination is 55 or fewer, then, for each pupil listed under subdivision (b)(3)(C) of this section (pupils who attend small schools):

    (A) where the school has fewer than 100 pupils in average two-year enrollment, the school district shall receive an additional weighting amount of 0.21 for each pupil included in the small school’s average two-year enrollment; or

    (B) where the small school has 100 or more but fewer than 250 pupils, the school district shall receive an additional weighting amount of 0.07 for each pupil included in the small school’s average two-year enrollment.

    (6) A school district’s weighted long-term membership shall equal long-term membership plus the cumulation of the weights assigned by the Secretary under this subsection.

    [Subsection (e) not in effect July 1, 2025-June 30, 2029.]

    (e) Hold harmless. A district’s weighted long-term membership shall in no case be less than 96 and one-half percent of its actual weighted long-term membership the previous year prior to making any adjustment under this subsection.

    (f) Determination of per pupil education spending. As soon as reasonably possible after a school district budget is approved by voters, the Secretary shall determine the per pupil education spending for the next fiscal year for the school district. Per pupil education spending shall equal a school district’s education spending divided by its weighted long-term membership.

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

    (h) Updates to weights. On or before January 1, 2027 and on or before January 1 of every fifth year thereafter, the Agency of Education and the Joint Fiscal Office shall calculate, based on their consensus view, updates to the weights to account for cost changes underlying those weights and shall issue a written report on their work to the House and Senate Committees on Education, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance. The General Assembly shall update the weights under this section and transportation reimbursement under section 4016 of this title not less than every five years and the implementation date for the updated weights and transportation reimbursement shall be delayed by a year in order to provide school districts with time to prepare their budgets. Updates to the weights may include recalibration, recalculation, adding or eliminating weights, or any combination of these actions. (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; 2021, No. 73, § 19, eff. June 8, 2021; 2021, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2024; 2021, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § E.500.8, eff. July 1, 2024.)