Last week, Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) submitted testimony to the Senate Education Committee which included a new analysis on the impacts of the recent Pupil Weighting Study.
The high-level analysis shows that 77 districts (generally those with the highest poverty rates) would see an average tax rate decrease of $0.18 and 39 districts (generally those with the lowest poverty rates) would see an average increase of $0.16. Under the modeling, the average tax rate would fall slightly from $1.51 to $1.499 while overall revenues would increase $10M.
So, what is pupil weighting? In simplest terms, it is the formula that determines the dollars-per-student contribution from the state to a Vermont public school. It seeks to take into account variables that impact how much it costs to educate a school's students such as population density, poverty rate, and the number of English language learners. The intended outcome is an equitable distribution of state funds that puts money into the communities that need it the most.
The charts below show the town-by-town tax implications of these changes. Please bear in mind that these numbers are by no means set in stone and are subject to change before any vote takes place.
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