Monday, November 2, 2015

Education News from the WWSU

ACT 46 - Unification

Goals of ACT 46: Move Vermont towards sustainable education governance models
and encourage local decisions and actions that:
1. Provide substantial equity in the quality and variety of education opportunities
2. Lead students to meet or exceed state Educational Quality Standards
3. Maximize operational efficiencies through greater flexibility to manage, share, and
transfer resources, with a goal of increasing district-level student to staff ratios
4. Promote transparency and accountability
5. Are delivered at a cost valued by parents, voters, and taxpayers

ACT 46 in the WWSU - Update
• WWSU held a community forum on 9/8/15 with presenters Nicole Mace, VSBA and Brad James, AOE to learn about the law.
• WWSU established the required 706 Study Committee under the law to study an accelerated merger and to apply for the 20K AOE grant for consultation and legal
• WWSU hired the VSBA/VSA/VSBIT consultant group and administration and the board/study committee heard a first presentation from them about other projects around the state, the Mount Mansfield merger, and early examples of suspected cost savings. Walter Nardelli is our formal consultant. Jeff Mayer is his intern conducting a graduate project.
• In early September, the WWSU Executive Board and Study Committee reviewed a first set of financial models with corresponding tax rates.
• On 10-14-15 they reviewed another cost modeling project using 2014, 2015, and 2016 actual budget data as if Act 46 incentives had been applied.
• They studied the SU’s declining enrollment trends looking at 2005, 2010 and 2015 real pupils ADM and equalized pupils EQP.
• They identified approximately 66K in immediate savings from our budgets prior to cost sharing in other obvious areas like food service, maintenance, equipment, and staff flexibility.

The Executive Board and Study Committee meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month. The next meeting is November 11, 2015.