Vt. School Boards Consider Cuts

Vt. School Boards Consider Cuts

Many Vermont communities are considering what they call painful cuts, including laying off teachers.
MILTON, Vt. - Many Vermont communities are considering what they call painful cuts, including laying off teachers.

On Town Meeting Day dozens of school budgets failed. The most in more than ten years. Now, the challenge is finding where to cut.

At a school board meeeting in Milton Monday, there were pleas to spare a middle school Spanish program which could be cut.

At the same time in Burlington, there were similar budget talks including cuts to a Spanish program in the elementary schools and jobs at the high school.

"It's very hard to just sit here and talk about these positions even though it's our job. Because it's very much, they are people who we know, who are part of our community," says Meredith Woodward King, a school board commissioner.

In Burlington, the superintendent presented three options to trim the 67-million dollar budget that was defeated by voters. Some board members wanted to know why the adminstration would not take a bigger hit.

"It would be harmful to the classroom to continue to eat away at the infrastructure of the schools," says Jeanne Collins, Burlington School District superintendent.

After Milton voters rejected the budget which already called for cuts, the superintendent doubled them to about one-million dollars. While shuffling people to vacant jobs will prevent most layoffs here, the superintendent says the loss of positions still hurts.

"I've got to be honest with you that and I speak on behalf of the leadership team that we sit not in favor of making these reductions but we know they are reductions that have to be made," says John Barone, Milton Town School District superintendent.

In Milton, there will be a public hearing about the proposed budget April 5th and in Burlington the school board will meet Tuesday about the cuts. It's at 7:00pm at the high school.

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