The Vermont Department of Education is recommending an across-the-board 2.085 percent spending reduction for the Washington West Supervisory Union. Across the state, the proposed spending reductions range from a 0.5 percent reduction to a 2.8 percent reduction.

The Department of Education released proposed spending reductions by school district and by school for the state this week as required by Act 146, which passed the Legislature this session.

Per Act 146, the Department of Education was to come up with a 2.34 percent reduction across the state in education spending in order to save $23.2 million.

Locally, Washington West Supervisory Union's aggregated 2011 education spending totals $24,918,051. When supervisory union costs are netted out, the total spending comes to $23,227,279.

A flat 2.35 percent reduction would require cutting district spending by $545,841; however, the Department of Education is proposing cuts of $519,591 or 2.085 percent.

The Department of Education proposed cuts at the school level as well. Locally, Fayston's 2011 education spending is identified as $1,422,279 with cuts of $31,194 (2.19 percent) proposed.

Moretown's 2011 spending is identified as $1,788,907, and a budget reduction of $34,622 (1.94 percent) is proposed.

In Waitsfield, 2011 education spending is listed as $1,771,795 and the school's proposed budget reduction is $38,405 (2.17 percent).

The 2011 education spending in Warren is listed as $1,624,817 and the Department of Education suggests cutting $36,015 (2.22 percent).

At Harwood Union, the 2011 education spending comes to $10,340,729. The Department of Education suggests cutting $176,317 (1.71 percent).

For the Union 45 district of Waterbury and Duxbury, the total spending is $7,941,602 and $182,239 (2.29 percent) in reductions is proposed.

The Department of Education report also identifies supervisory union spending and proposed cuts for supervisory offices as well. Washington West's 2011 spending is $919,185 and a reduction of $20,799 (2.26 percent) is proposed.

The proposed reductions were sent to the supervisory union on Monday, August 2, although the reductions were not made public by the Department of Education until August 4.

To calculate the proposed reductions, the Department of Education analyzed data from four budget cycles, looking at total education spending, spending per equalized pupil, ratios of students to instruction staff, ratios of instruction staff to administrative staff and student enrollment to administrative staff.

Washington West Supervisory Union Superintendent Brigid Scheffert was not available for comment on the proposed reductions on August 3 and 4 when contacted by email and phone. The board of each supervisory union and district is required to notify the state, by December 15, of whether the combined budgets will meet the recommended reductions.

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