New GM school district budget information meeting Tuesday, Feb. 27

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The first annual meeting of the new Green Mountain Unified School District will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Green Mountain High School at 716 Rt. 103 South in Chester. This will be the last opportunity residents of Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish and Chester will have to ask questions about the school budget before it is voted on by Australian ballot on March 6, 2018.

The GMUSD was formed by an Act 46 merger to operate the high school as well as Cavendish Elementary and Chester-Andover Elementary schools. The merger eliminated a number of school boards and a measure of local control. The trade off was intended to be a  reduction in the cost of education while adding educational opportunities for students.

The budget being presented this year was criticized by a number of GMUSD board members as well as members of the public and school staff for not reaching those goals. Members of the public attending budget meeting complained that educational opportunities that were touted during the merger process – including foreign language at the elementary school level – were cut while administration was added. While proposals by Two Rivers Supervisory Union Superintendent  Meg Powden to supervise both elementary schools with one principal and reducing the nursing staffs at the three schools were turned back by the board, a “teaching dean of students” at CAES made it into the final draft of the budget.

After several session in which the district’s executive committee deadlocked on budget proposals, the full board found itself up against a deadline for putting a budget on the Town Meeting Day ballot. On Jan. 19, the board approved a budget to put before voters.

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Filed Under: Act 46Education NewsGMUSD Board of Directors agenda

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  1. Otis Nelson says:

    Well said Stu Lindberg! People indeed need to be better informed of contents with-in all aspects of the budget they are voting for or against! Hold these new district leaders and superintendent feet to the fire!!! Do not trust what they say until you see exactly what they are doing or not doing to educate our kids! They are not providing more educational opportunities for our kids and yet still looking to increase adminstrative spending! Meg Powden should be working for our kids, schools and district not the folks in Montpeiler!

  2. Stuart Lindberg says:

    Taxpayers who have been paying attention in the last decade understand that the Supervisory Unions and schools have become less transparent in their budget presentation and less accountable in how our money is being spent.

    A decade ago each voter was mailed, by USPS, a detailed and understandable report of how their hard earned dollars were being spent to educate the town’s children. That no longer happens. Included in this report was data in outlining student achievement. That also no longer happens.

    With ACT 46 we no longer get to see how each of our town’s school is spending and if our money is being spent effectively. This budget looks likes it was created by a second grade student. What we get is a giant lump of figures with no details and no explanation of how money is being spent. The taxpayers and parents deserve better than this. As a state we are rapidly moving toward a “Pay up and shut up” system of school governance.

    As long as the citizenry is still allowed to Vote on school budgets, I will be voting NO.

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