The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : GENERAL STATE FUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION(Cite as: 16 V.S.A. § 4015)
§ 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 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.
(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.
(f)(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, a school district that received a small schools grant in fiscal year 2020 shall continue to receive an annual small schools grant.
(2) Payment of the grant under this subsection shall continue annually unless explicitly repealed by the General Assembly; provided, however, that the Secretary shall discontinue payment of the grant in the fiscal year following the cessation of operations of the school that made the district eligible for the small schools grant, and further provided that if the building that houses the school that made the district eligible for the small schools grant is consolidated with another school into a renovated or new school building, then the Secretary shall continue to pay the grant during the repayment term of any bonded indebtedness incurred in connection with the consolidation-related renovation or construction.
(3) A school district that is eligible to receive an annual small schools grant under this subsection shall not also be eligible to receive a small school grant or its equivalent under subsection (b) of this section or under any other provision of law.
(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; 2021, No. 73, § 20, eff. June 8, 2021.)