As the Milton Town District Board of Trustees asks our community for support of our FY21 Budget, we do so with gratitude and a high level of public awareness. First, gratitude for all that our teachers, staff, administrators, parents/guardians, neighbors, and community partners are doing to support our students and their families during this unusual time. Second, with awareness of the uncertainty as well as the many challenges posed by COVID-19 related to all aspects of life and its impact on all members of the community.
Over the last two months, we have been analyzing our financials, examining line items, and making reductions to our FY21 budget. As a result, on June 9, we will bring a budget to our voters that has an 1.8% increase in education spending which is well below the statewide average of over 4%. Because of the increase in expenses that we do not control, such as health care, transportation and operational costs, we had already made reductions in other areas of our budget to offset those increases. With this proposal, we made further difficult reductions in our programming and staff, mindful of the balance between educational necessity and fiscal constraints.
We understand that the pandemic has left many in the community facing financial challenges. We also know that educating students whose access to in person instruction has been interrupted will be harder and require careful resource allocation. As we prepare a safe return to school in the fall, we want to be able to focus on the needs of our students both academically, socially and emotionally. We want to be able to at least operate at par, and not behind.
The MTSD budget supports more than just the important task of educating students. It supports the vibrancy of the community. Our district’s largest costs by far are salaries and benefits for our staff. Approximately 50% of all MTSD employees live in Milton. Education tax dollars fund our schools along with the livelihood of many in the community. In addition, as one of the largest employers in the town, making it a significant component of the local economy; our schools and our individual employees patronize many local businesses.
We remain hopeful that the MTSD will be able to begin the fiscal year (July 1) with an operational budget that allows us to meet the needs of our school community. We remain committed to working with you and all Vermonters as we continue to address the health, education, economic, and social challenges of this pandemic.
Please share your voice and vote on June 9.
Thank you, stay safe and be well.
The Milton Town School District Board of Trustees
For detailed information regarding our budget and the budget development process, please visit https://www.mtsd-vt.org/