State sets CVU budget goal

School asked to cut budget by $400,500

Nov. 4, 2010

By Stephanie Choate
Observer staff

The Champlain Valley Union High School Board has its work cut out for it this budget season.

Under the Challenges for Change bill passed by the Vermont Legislature in the spring, the state’s education commission must identify $23.5 million to cut from school budgets statewide. The commissioner in turn assigned budget reduction goals for each supervisory union and school.

For CVU, that number is approximately $400,500. Chittenden South Supervisory Union Superintendent Elaine Pinckney said that the board would likely have to cut more than that, once it adjusts for increasing costs like fuel, utilities and health insurance payments.

“I think it’s going to be incredibly tough,” Pinckney said. “There’s no way you can cut that kind of money without touching programs and faculty.”

School districts must decide by Dec. 15 whether they will be able to meet the challenge.

“We are taking the task seriously,” Pinckney said. “We are looking to see what it would look like, would we meet our obligation to provide quality education for our kids.”

CVU’s 2010-2011 budget was nearly $21.35 million, a 1.53 percent increase over the previous year. The increase mainly came from changes in the way CSSU billed school districts for transportation and technology.

If CVU meets the state’s goal, it would mean a nearly 2 percent reduction from the 2010-2011 budget.

The CVU Board will discuss the budget during its regular meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 at CVU.