A Message From Board Chair David Bickford

A Message From Board Chair David Bickford

The LSUU board is proud to present a budget to the communities of Elmore, Morristown and Stowe which will continue to provide all of our students with the opportunity to succeed in the classroom, on the athletic field and in life beyond. All of us on the LSUU board come from different backgrounds, from different experiences and from different communities.  However, we have one single focus: to provide our students with an education that will give them the solid foundation they need to be successful.  We believe that the 2020-2021 budget meets this shared goal.  

As we built this budget, the board discussed ways in which we could improve our academic program, address the maintenance needs for our buildings and realign our personnel to make more effective use of existing resources.  At the same time, we did not want to put too much pressure on people’s tax rates. Therefore, we opted for a budget that:

  • maintains the current academic programs;
  • provides funds for on-going and needed building maintenance;
  • adds one custodian/maintenance person in Stowe; and
  • provides equitable access to athletic trainer support for student athletes.

This proposed budget maintains the current programs and staffing across the district. These programs and our staff are the backbone of our high-quality education system and the reason that our children see far-reaching success. Whether it be SBAC scores, college admission rates or by readiness for careers, by almost every measure, LSUU students are thriving. It is our high-quality programming and excellent staff that are behind that success.

There were two areas that did call for a slight increase to meet recommended staffing levels and services. The budget does include an additional full-time employee custodial position for Stowe schools to provide the recommended staffing levels for facilities. It also adds $20,000 of additional funding for athletic trainer services for Peoples Academy and Stowe High School.

Throughout the budget process, board members were mindful of the impact on local taxes. We recognize that while our communities support our children and want them to have a top-tier education, we must do it at a reasonable cost. While residents of Morristown and Stowe will see a rise in their tax rates, predominantly due to rising health insurance premium rates, increased transportation costs and inflationary increases for existing services, Elmore residents will actually see a decrease in their tax rates. The Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) is a significant cost factor in the final estimated tax rates for each town.

Community support and partnership is one of the critical factors behind student success. We would like to thank you for being an engaged voter and for your support of our students and our education system. Our students could not thrive without your support.

Voters of Elmore, Morristown and Stowe are encouraged to mark your calendars to attend the LSUU Annual Meeting at 6:00pm on Monday, March 2, 2020, in the Peoples Academy gymnasium.  Please plan to cast your ballot early in your local municipal offices or on Town Meeting Day.  For more information about the budget, tax rates and expanded opportunities for students please read the Annual Report of the LSUU, which can be found on our website.

Regards,
David

   Categories: LSSU News & Announcements