At a December 8 Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board meeting, district director of finance and operations Michelle Baker presented the board with the first draft of the proposed FY2023 budget. The school board will discuss the proposed budget over the course of several meetings. The proposed budget includes an overall expenditure increase of 3.7% over last year’s budget, totaling $41,898,552.
Seventy-one percent of the budget goes towards employee salaries and benefits. The draft budget includes a 5.2% increase for employee salaries. The budget includes three new custodian positions to assist in COVID-related cleaning, a new maintenance/groundskeeper, a new director of education and technology in response to COVID tech needs, a human resources director, a new special education teacher, a speech language aid, a new grades 1-2 teacher at Fayston Elementary, and new behavioral services and social-emotional learning support for psychological services. The draft budget also includes a 5% increase in health insurance costs and a 2% increase in dental insurance costs.
The HUUSD has a total of 225.08 full-time equivalent employees budgeted, 5.4 of whom are funded by COVID relief funds, for a total of 381.19 positions overall, 9.4 of which are funded by COVID relief funds. The minimum hourly pay rate for custodians and maintenance staff for FY2023 will be $16.50 per hour while the minimum rate for all other employees is $16 per hour.
Vermont uses a weighted system to determine local tax rates based on education spending per pupil, giving more weight to low-income students, students with learning disabilities and/or special needs and English language learners. The Vermont tax commissioner yield estimate letter was published last week. While the yield is not likely to be finalized until May or June, this first estimate is a key variable in understanding how annual expenses will affect local property tax rates.
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