Five school districts still without school budgets
(Host) Most school budgets in the state were passed back in March at Town Meeting.
But five school districts have been unable to get voter approval of budgets -- and three of them are in the Grand Isle Supervisory Union.
Tuesday, North Hero will vote for a third time on its school budget. Later this month, the towns of Grand Isle and Isle La Motte will vote for a fourth time.
Superintendent Dick Taylor says the economy is an issue, but that the towns in the Grand Isle supervisory union share some additional challenges:
(Taylor) "All schools in Grand Isle County deal with some fixed costs over which they have little if any control: things such as high school tuition, special education, and general overhead costs to begin with."
(Host) There is no high school in Grand Isle County, and the five towns there pay tuition to send their high school students to schools in neighboring counties. The cost of transporting students to those mainland schools has also been a concern to voters.
Taylor says state law is clear that towns must continue to hold votes until a budget passes:
(Taylor) "If July 1st comes around and we don't have a school budget approved in any one of the communities, well the business of schooling still goes on. School boards are authorized by law to borrow some money in order to keep their schools open and pay their bills until such time as the board presents and gets approval by the electorate of a proposed budget."
(Host) Meanwhile, the towns of Grand Isle and North Hero have overwhelmingly approved measures that allow the school boards to look into consolidating schools among the towns.
There are two other districts in the state that are still without school budgets for next year: Roxbury and Bethel.
Roxbury votes for the fourth time Tuesday , and Bethel votes on its school budget for a third time on June 16.