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2008. Passing the School Budget. Presented By: Vermont School Boards Association. Speakers. Bill Talbott – VT Dept. of Education Brent Kay – Orange Southwest SU Ken Fredette – Wallingford School Bd. John Fike – Reading School Board Winton Goodrich - VSBA. Key Assumptions.

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2008

Passing the School Budget

Presented By:

Vermont School Boards Association


Speakers
Speakers

  • Bill Talbott – VT Dept. of Education

  • Brent Kay – Orange Southwest SU

  • Ken Fredette – Wallingford School Bd.

  • John Fike – Reading School Board

  • Winton Goodrich - VSBA


Key assumptions
Key Assumptions

  • Connection between per pupil expenditures and residential tax rates

  • No CLA impact when paying taxes based on income

  • Boards not responsible for impact of increasing property values


Cost drivers
Cost Drivers

  • Local and Total Spending

  • Negotiated Contract

  • Employee Benefits

  • Purchased Services

  • Student/Teacher Ratios

  • Increased Staffing Levels


75 of budget is fixed by the negotiated contract

75% of Budget is Fixed by the Negotiated Contract

Options for Substantial Cost Reduction:

Eliminate Programs

Increase Student/Teacher Ratio


Factors that influence taxes
Factors That Influence Taxes

  • District could have flat budget growth but if CLA decreases it causes tax increase

  • Property value growth is slowing

    • CLA impact may diminish in future years

    • Less tax base growth may cause statewide tax rate to increase


What s new for fy09
What’s New for FY09

  • First year union and member districts have separate tax rates

  • Each will be exposed to high spending threshold

  • Base year for Act 82

    • “Think-Twice,” two-vote provision


What s new
What’s New…

  • Changes to equalized pupils

    • Secondary weight reduced to 1.13%

    • Shorter ADM – Final count Dec. 15

  • Considering fall and spring ADM census


Financial effort
Financial Effort

  • % wealth that a state allocates to education

  • $12,337 in 2008 has the same "purchase power" as $10,000 in 2000.



School spending patterns change 2007 vt annual personal income growth 4 7
School Spending Patterns Change(2007 VT Annual Personal Income Growth 4.7%)


Education fact sheet
Education Fact Sheet

Demonstrates Equity Between High and Low Spending Districts


Annual health insurance increases
Annual Health Insurance Increases

Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust


Annual special education increases k 12 service plans
Annual Special Education Increases(K-12 Service Plans)

Vermont Department of Education



Web finance resources
Web Finance Resources

Vermont Business Roundtable

http://www.vtroundtable.org/

Voices for Vermont's Children

http://www.voicesforvermontschildren.

org/main.php/sid/7


Education funding

Education Funding

Bill Talbott

Chief Financial Officer

Vermont Department of Education




Excess spending threshold
Excess Spending Threshold

FY 2008 - $12,594

FY 2009 - $13,200(est.)

(Statewide avg. of $10,860 increased by 25%)


2008 state tax rates
2008 State Tax Rates

  • Homestead tax rate = $0.87

    (may be reduced to $0.85)

  • Non-resident & business tax rate = $1.36 (may be reduced to $1.34)

  • School budgets do not impact non-resident and business tax bills


Non resident tax rate
Non-resident Tax Rate

  • CLA impact same as homestead tax rate

  • Fund raising doesn’t help any more – No financial advantage for benefactor


Non resident cla impact
Non-Resident CLA Impact

$1.36 Non-Resident & Business

(No income sensitivity provisions)

Town A (90% CLA) adjusted tax rate

$1.36/0.90 = $1.51

Town B (80% CLA) adjusted tax rate

$1.36/0.80 = $1.70


Eligibility for income adjustment
Eligibility for Income Adjustment

  • 2007 tax return $90,000 or less based on entire house site value

  • Income over $90,000 eligibility based on first $200,000 of house site value


Income sensitivity
Income Sensitivity

  • Homestead income less than $90,000 -

    • Tax credit subtracted from school tax bill

    • Based on 2007 income and FY 2008 school budget

  • Homestead income less than $47,000 of total tax bill

    • Combined municipal and adjusted school tax must not exceed 5% of income


Common level of appraisal
Common Level of Appraisal

  • Common Level of Appraisal

    • Town grand list divided by the state equalized grand list

    • Used to equalize property values and resulting tax burdens throughout the state

  • Statewide average CLA 82.39%



Under act 130
Under Act 130

  • Homestead tax collected by town

    • Union and member districts each have own tax rates (don’t avg. rates)

  • Districts determine ed. spending per pupil

    • Based on grade range of district

    • Prek -12, K-6, 7- 12, 9-12, etc.


Under act 1301
Under Act 130

  • Union districts are recognized

  • All districts will determine education spending per equalized pupil

  • All districts will have a homestead tax rate

  • Town’s homestead tax rate – weighted average of district tax rates


Homestead tax rate for bedrock
Homestead Tax Rate for Bedrock

Town of Bedrock

60% of eq. pupils are members of Bedrock Elementary District

40% of eq. pupils are members of Mudville Union High District


Homestead tax rate for bedrock1
Homestead Tax Rate for Bedrock

Bedrock Elem. tax rate = $1.40

Mudville Union High tax rate = $1.55

60% of 1.40 = 0.84

40% of 1.55 = 0.62

Bedrock tax rate = 1.46


Setting homestead tax rates
Setting Homestead Tax Rates

  • Education Spending ÷ district’s equalized pupil count = average per pupil spending

  • Example: Ed Spending =$2,858,700

    Eq. Pupil Count = 300

    $2,858,700 ÷ 300 = $9,529



Tax rates on the tax bill
Tax Rates on the Tax Bill

  • Equalized Tax rates are then divided by the town’s Common Level of Appraisal

  • Per pupil spending = $9,529

  • Equalized rate = $1.24

  • CLA = 80%

  • Tax rate on bill = 1.24 ÷ 80% = $1.55



Regional Per Pupil Education Comparisons

2005 Data, Vermont Dept. of Education




Town Rebates and Prebates

http://www.state.vt.us/tax/pdf.word.excel/statistics/2004/prebate_town.pdf

Income Sensitivity Web Resources

Check Link


The final stage presenting and passing your school district budget

The Final Stage: Presenting and Passing Your School District Budget

Brenda Fleming

Business Manager

Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union


Know your audience
Know your Audience

  • School Board

  • Committee of Elected Officials

  • Citizens of a Single Town

  • Citizens of Multiple Towns –

    • Union or Independent School District

    • Vocational School – Local or Regional


Respect your audience
Respect Your Audience

  • What are the goals for students?

  • What are the key economic factors?

  • Who are your major employers?

    • Dotcom's vs. agricultural industries

    • Large conglomerates vs. family run businesses


Respect your audience1
Respect Your Audience

  • What are the income levels?

  • Compare community, state, and national incomes.

  • What are the community education levels?


Present to your audience
Present to your Audience

  • Tailor information to fit the public forum.

    • PowerPoint, Overheads, Handout

    • Mailing, Brochures & Flyers

  • Small meetings of elected officials

    and citizens

  • Large meeting of citizens

    Remember to Respect your Voters!


  • Budget approval process
    Budget Approval Process

    • Public vote “From the Floor”

      • Board members present

      • Citizens and/or voters present

    • Public vote by Australian Ballot

      • Voters must “read” the annual report and/or budget flyer to be informed

      • Make sure the written material is clear, concise & understandable

    • Don’t use public funds to advocate; only to inform!


    Trust positive communications
    Trust & Positive Communications

    • Be Prepared! It’s BEST way to maintain and/or gain voters’ trust!

      • Know the major budget increases

      • Answer the tough questions, before they are asked

        • Control the presentation

        • Keep discussion on task and on schedule

        • Provide all the necessary information

        • Keep presentation positive & productive


    Trust positive communications1
    Trust & Positive Communications

    • Don’t wait for voters to ask tough questions

      • Often become antagonistic

      • Begin fueling mistrust

      • May result in loss of Board control


    Major budget factors hot topics
    Major Budget Factors/Hot Topics

    • Know answers to hot topics!

      • Special Education

        • Connect costs & programs to students

        • Show and demand respect for students & families

        • Beware of acronyms

          • IEP, SLP, EEE, 504

    • Maintain confidentiality and inform voters


    Major budget factors hot topics1
    Major Budget Factors/Hot Topics

    • Teacher contracts

      • What are average teacher salaries

      • Avoid blaming! Avoid comments like “we have no control”

        • Creates anger & mistrust

      • Avoid negative comments like we tried ….. but the union said no


    Major budget factors hot topics2
    Major Budget Factors/Hot Topics

    • Health Insurance

      • Be prepared to answer:

        • “How much do the Teacher’s pay?

        • “Why is it so little?”

          • Explain cooperative buying programs (VSBIT)

          • Provide other district info

          • Compare to professional industries


    Major budget factors hot topics3
    Major Budget Factors/Hot Topics

    • Building Operation & Maintenance

      • Deferred Maintenance

      • Rising Energy Costs

      • Bulk Purchase Programs and Regional Collaborations

    • Other Local Topics

      • Upcoming Building Projects/Bond Votes

      • Explanation of Deficits


    What to answer how to answer
    What to Answer & How to Answer

    • Consider what the voter needs to know

      • Who will be served by the Budget

      • What will it mean to all Parties:

        • Students

        • Teachers

        • Taxpayers

        • Why do we need these Services

        • How much will it Cost

          • In Total

          • Per student

          • Taxpayer


    Connect the budget to students
    Connect the Budget to Students

    • Connect budget to students, programs and school achievements

      • Now is NOT the time to be Humble

        • Communicate high test scores

        • If recently instituted full-day Kindergarten has resulted in higher test scores in 3rd grade – tout it!

        • Remember your Audience

          • Multiple towns

          • Use combination of graphics, narrative, PowerPoints


    Presenting vs defending
    Presenting vs. Defending

    • Speak with Confidence

    • Be:

      • Consistent

      • Concise

      • Clear (If you don’t know an answer, DON’T make it up!)

      • Respectful


    Presenting vs defending1
    Presenting vs. Defending

    • What to Avoid

      • “I” statements – Budget created and supported by a team

      • “We have no control over contract, SPED..

        • Statements about our lack of control fuel anger and mistrust


    Presenting vs defending2
    Presenting vs. Defending

    • Beware of Inadvertently Defending the Budget

      • Best proposal: balancing educational needs and taxpayer costs

      • Support the budget with facts, figures & concrete information

      • Including the budget assumptions and expectations


    Presenting vs defending3
    Presenting vs. Defending

    • DON’T avoid questions.

      • Even if you disagree, remember that the proposed budget was agreed upon by the majority of board

      • Do not to criticize the budget

      • Avoid negative statements: “We can’t..We tried..”


    Budget passage communication and engagement strategies

    Budget Passage Communication and Engagement Strategies

    Bob Noyed

    President

    National School Public Relations Association


    Effective communication strategies
    Effective Communication Strategies

    • Develop a plan

    • Create effective media relations

    • Involve key opinion leaders

    • Explain reasons for decisions

    • Create key messages


    Effective communication strategies1
    Effective Communication Strategies

    • Make communication everyone’s job

    • Share bad news and move on

    • Step around media and gatekeepers

    • Share information with school staff


    What is a communication plan
    What Is a Communication Plan?

    • Road map for connecting with stakeholders

    • Identify what needs to be conveyed

    • Create short-term strategies to address specific issues


    Types of communication processes
    Types of Communication Processes

    • No plan

    • Event or issue based

    • Crisis based

    • Regular and ongoing

    • Strategic and integrated


    Developing communication strategy
    Developing Communication Strategy

    • Decide

      • Where are we now?

      • How did we get here?

      • Where do we want to be?

      • How do we get where we want to be?


    Creating an effective strategy
    Creating an Effective Strategy

    • Plan with the end in mind

    • Outline key messages

    • Identify obstacles

    • Establish best tactics to reach goal

    • Assess effectiveness


    Getting through communication clutter
    Getting Through Communication Clutter

    • Establish strategies that don’t add to clutter

    • Focus on participation rather than activities

    • School not on most “radar screens”

    • Develop key messages

    • Use emotional stories not boring facts


    Create key messages
    Create Key Messages

    • Decide top 3 things community wants to know

    • Incorporate key ideas in all communications

    • Frame discussion for stakeholders

    • Help them understand perspective


    Necessity for internal communication
    Necessity for Internal Communication

    • Provides foundation for communication program

    • Creates communication culture

    • Emphasizes role of staff as ambassadors

    • Encourages staff to deliver messages


    Why foster internal communications
    Why Foster Internal Communications

    • Research indicates that school staff – especially custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, and food service workers – are the most believed sources of school information.

      (National School Public Relations Association)


    Communicating complex issues
    Communicating Complex Issues

    • Time – Community can’t understand immediately

    • Repetition - Need many exposures and reminders

    • Layering – Break issue down into smaller pieces and layers


    Moving from communication to engagement

    Communicate

    Public Hearing

    Talk To

    Protect Turf

    Top Down

    Influence Like-Minded

    Establish Hierarchy

    Authority

    Deliberate With

    Community Conversat.

    Talk With

    Find Common Ground

    Bottom Up

    Understand Different Views

    Build Networks

    Responsibility

    Moving from Communication to Engagement


    Public engagement results
    Public Engagement Results

    • Involved community

    • Selling proposals are minimized

    • Build better community relations

    • Radical voices are minimized

    • Fewer “squeaky wheel” decisions

    • Solutions come from community


    Final thoughts
    Final Thoughts

    • Start early – Begin planning next year’s budget presentation tomorrow

    • Don’t just share numbers – tell stories about how spending helps kids

    • Communicate the value, not just the cost

    • Engage citizens in the process


    Link the budget to measurable goals as well as student and school accomplishments

    Link the budget to

    measurable goals as well as student and school accomplishments!



    Action plan
    Action Plan

    • Student performance data

    • Target areas needing improvement

      • Professional development

      • New curriculum


    Tracking student performance
    Tracking Student Performance

    • Assessment scores

    • Graduation rates

    • Achievement of students with special needs

    • Higher education/post secondary enrollment

    NSBA Data Connection


    Tracking student performance1
    Tracking Student Performance

    • Salary levels for graduates

    • Awards & recognition received

    • Scholarships received

    • Participation in AP courses

    NSBA Data Connection


    Other student performance indicators
    Other Student Performance Indicators

    • Community service & co-curricular activities

    • Graduate & parent satisfaction surveys

    • Attendance/drop out rates


    School indicators
    School Indicators

    • Student/teacher ratio

    • Teacher expertise & awards

    • % of parents involved

    • Number of community volunteers

    • Types/# of business partnerships


    Comparative web data
    Comparative Web Data

    Cost-Effective Comparative Data

    http://www.state.vt.us/educ/new/html/data/comparison_data.html

    State School Report Data

    http://crs.uvm.edu/schlrpt/

    Comparative School Data

    http://www.state.vt.us/educ/new/html/maindata.html



    Getting public on board
    Getting Public on Board

    6 Months Prior to Vote

    • Involve key opinion leaders on budget committee

    • Do not spend public funds promoting budget passage

    • Just communicate facts


    Getting public on board1
    Getting Public on Board

    3 Months Prior To Vote

    • Prepare budget

    • Prepare voting process

    • Organize PR Committee

    • Communicate with local opinion leaders


    Getting public on board2
    Getting Public on Board

    2 Months Prior To Vote

    • Prepare informational materials

    • Obtain voter registration lists

    • Dialogue with opinion leaders

    • Recruit “Get Out The Vote” volunteers


    Getting public on board3
    Getting Public on Board

    5 Weeks Prior to Vote

    • Begin community presentations

    • Meet with media

    • Assign volunteers in “Get Out Vote” drive

    • Prepare yard signs & flyers


    Getting public on board4
    Getting Public on Board

    4 Weeks Prior To Vote

    • Include “Vote on School Budget” in business advertisements

    • Write & tape radio spots

    • Design & schedule newspaper announcements


    Getting public on board5
    Getting Public on Board

    3 Weeks Prior To Vote

    • Organize key opinion leader breakfasts

    • School leaders & volunteers meet:

      • Church leaders & PTA

      • Chamber of Commerce & Rotary

      • Select Board & others


    Getting public on board6
    Getting Public on Board

    2 Weeks Prior To Vote

    • Compile telephone surveys

    • Direct mailings to clergy

    • Information posters in stores


    Getting public on board7
    Getting Public on Board

    • 2 Weeks Prior to Vote

      • Target distribution of sample ballots

      • Post “Vote on School Budget” signs

      • Telephone voters


    Getting public on board8
    Getting Public on Board

    1 Week Prior To Vote

    • Newspaper announcements (no public funds)

    • Mail newsletter (just facts)

    • Radio & Cable TV interviews

    • Post yard & other signs


    Getting public on board9
    Getting Public on Board

    Night Before Vote

    • “Reminder to Vote” phone calls

    • Review “Transportation To Polls” logistics



    7 media essentials
    7 Media Essentials

    • Develop relationships with reporters

    • Know “Rules of Engagement”

      • “On & off the record”

      • Background info

    • Frame the message

      - keep it simple & precise


    7 media essentials1
    7 Media Essentials

    • Understand reporters’ limitations

      • tight deadlines

    • Know your audience

      • catch interest with your message


    7 media essentials2
    7 Media Essentials

    • Provide backup print materials

      • help reporter understand issue

    • Always be truthful



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