July 16, 2019

HSB Meeting Minutes February 8, 2016

DATE: 02-11-2016



Monday, February 8, 2016 at 7pm


Hartford Town Hall

171 Bridge Street, Meeting Room 2

White River Junction, Vermont 05001


Board Members Present: Lori Dickerson, Paula Nulty, Russell North, Peter Merrill

Administrators Present: Tom DeBalsi, Noel Bryant, Jim Vezina

1. School Board Budget

  • Presentation

  • Lori Dickerson explains that the way education is funded is not simple and that the numbers that go into the calculations are constantly changing, this year even up to the last minute. This makes the board’s job difficult and the board had to make decisions based on the knowledge they had at the time. There were in fact changes that occurred after the board had signed the warrant.

  • Lori Dickerson compares the approved revenues of FY 2016 versus the proposed revenues of FY 2017. The amount is lower for the general fund revenue and the federal and state grant revenue, higher for the four collaborative programs, while the food service revenue remained flat.

  • For the comparison of approved expenditures of FY 2016 to the proposed revenues of FY 2017, Lori Dickerson explains that Act 46 is how the state is addressing the statewide issue that the student population is decreasing at the same time there is a cost increase. The act came in with heavy penalties and the board was budgeting with the idea that there is an equalized expenditure for students. Any amount above that level would be doubly taxed and the school board was very aware not to go over that amount. The Vermont AOE’s interpretation of the act was not in line with the legislative intent, which is why there have been recent changes made in the legislature.

  • Lori Dickerson points out the notable increases:  a state mandated on-site athletic trainer for concussions, higher health-care premiums, and a special education administration relocation from the collaboratives.

  • The proposed increase in the tax rate is 1.5% (down from 3%) due to last minute changes in the legislature changes. Overall, there is a proposed $1,114,000 decrease in expenditures from FY 2016. In regards to potential cuts, eleven staff members have stated they will retire at the end of this year. Those positions may not be filled or there may be some staff movement.

  • Concerning the collective bargaining contract, both the school board and the teacher union sent in their choice for a fact finder today.

  • Public Comments

  • Gabrielle Lucke, Hartford resident and Vermont House of Representatives member, thanks Tom DeBalsi and Jim Vezina for their attentive work and dedication. She acknowledges that the budget is not as bad as it could have been, which is good for the community. She asks the board about which communities HSD will be compared to in regards to the fact finder.

    • Lori Dickerson answers that AAA is being used for the first time. She emphasizes that the board is trying hard to make sure that this budget gets passed and to preserve the student-teacher ratio as best they can in light of the caps the board is facing.

    • Tom DeBalsi shares that both the school board and the teachers’ union choose which communities are reflected in the report, which allows for reasonable comparisons in regards to size and funding.

  1. Adjournment of Joint Selectboard & School Board Meeting

8:20 Peter Merrill moves to adjourn. Paula Nulty seconds. A unanimous verbal votes passes the motion (4 yes, 0 no).



Draft Respectfully Submitted 2/11/2016

Hannah Prescott