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2/23/18 Cavendish Update
1. TRSU Budget Passes
2. Cavendish Related News
3. Rabies Vaccination Clinics
TRSU BUDGET PASSES: At the Semi-annual meeting of the full Two Rivers Supervisory Union (TRSU) board on Feb. 1, board members overwhelmingly rejected the Supervisory Union budget due to its lacking detail, including previously unseen budget items, and falsely presenting the budget as a decrease compared to last year. A meeting was scheduled for February 15, but was cancelled the afternoon of the meeting because the TRSU had failed to properly warn it.
Last night’s meeting, Feb. 22, resulted in an approved budget, which came after a heavily debated discussion. By a vote of 9 to 6, a TRSU budget of $6,018,132 was approved.
After the vote was completed two members of the audience voiced concerns that were reflective of some of the discussion.
A Mt. Holly resident commented, “I was surprised that the budget passed. I thought it could be cut a lot more. There is not a ton of money around here. There are a lot of services that are not educational…..administration creating their own demands. We could have cut a lot more.” Earlier in the meeting this same person noted, “It seems strange to me that you would vote a budget down and then come back to meet again with the budget not changing. Either the budget goes up or goes down….it is apparent that the budget needs to go down...so basically you didn’t do your job.”
Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) parent Denise Hughes stated I appreciate the job that you all do. This is about the kids, for the kids. There is less than half of the budget going to the kids. You cut out little things. Things that don’t matter, things that have nothing to do with our kids. You are still not meeting the Act 46 requirements. We need to look at Supervisory Union size.
The recommended national standards stated in Act 46 list 2000-4000 students per SU. I know we got some waivers, but we all know those are temporary. We don’t meet those requirements. We are less than half of the minimum recommended student size. We are spending close to $100k to house the offices for TRSU. That’s a very expensive workplace to house 10 people. These are the things you need to be thinking about. This budget is all about central office costs.
We’re talking salary increase for TRSU staff and benefits that are non-negotiable in this budget discussion. These are people who already have a much higher salary than our teachers.
I appreciate Doug’s comments [Doug McBride is one of the TRSU board members from Cavendish] questioning the need of the dental plan that was negotiated in the TRSU Central office (not Special Ed staff) budget, and staff from central office receive this benefit. What’s important for this board to know is that our own teachers don’t have dental.
Going back to my original point, the average recommended SU size is 2000-4000 students. If this board wants to start looking at really saving money for taxpayers and finding ways to fund better educational programs, we need to stop looking at nickel or diming schools and start looking at SU consolidation…..I still think we totally missed the mark.
As one board member noted, after a meeting that stretched over two hours, ultimately it’s the town voters who decide what the budget will be. Given how confusing it has been for the boards of the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD), TRSU and the respective schools, to say nothing of the merger votes that have taken place among towns that are part of the TRSU, the voter needs as much help as possible to make a decision.
There are two upcoming meetings where the public can discuss budgets, per pupil costs, impact on taxes, changes being made at the TRSU, ACT 46, and other aspects of the educational system:
• Feb. 27 (Tuesday): Green Mountain Unified School District annual meeting, 7 pm at Green Mountain Union High School in Chester. See the Cavendish Connects Calendar for more information.
• March 5 (Monday): Cavendish Town Meeting, 7 pm at Cavendish Town Elementary School’s Multi Purpose room.
Voting on the school budget takes place on March 6 (Tuesday) by Australian Ballot. Polls are open from 10-7 in the CTES Art Room.
2. CAVENDISH RELATED NEWS
Save the Date-CHS Annual Meeting: The Cavendish Historical Society (CHS) will hold its annual meeting on March 18 (Sunday) 2-4 pm. As March is Women’s History Month, this year’s program will be on Cavendish women. During March, there will be biographies of different women posted to the CHS blog with a summary included in the Cavendish Update. FMI: 802-226-7807 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Proctorsville Resident Running in the Boston Marathon: On April 16, Lisa Marks from Proctorsville, Vt. is running to conquer cancer as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon. Marks, along with more than 500 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge teammates from across the United States and around the world, will run Massachusetts’ historic marathon route from Hopkinton to Boston to raise $5.5 million for cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Challenge team in the 122nd Boston Marathon. VT Journal
How Long Are you Contagious With the Flu? The CDC says you are contagious one day before you start feeling sick and up to seven days after. If you're a kid, elderly, or have a weak immune system, you can be contagious for even longer. There appears to be a spike in flu in our area. If you or someone you know could use a Cavendish Cares Package (provides items to both prevent flu as well as help deal with symptoms) please send an e-mail to email@example.com or call 226-7131 VPR
3. RABIES VACCINATION CLINICS: Springfield Animal Hospital is offering rabies vaccination clinics for cats, dogs and ferrets for $10 per pet-cash or check only at the following times and locations
March 5 (Monday): 6-7:30 pm at Springfield Animal Hospital
March 10 (Saturday) 9-11 am, Springfield Fire Department
March 17 (Saturday) 9-11 am, Baltimore Town Office
March 28 (Wednesday) 6-7:30 pm, Springfield Animal Hospital
Please bring proof of prior vaccination for 3-year certificate, otherwise a 1-year certificate will be issued.
FEBRUARY 26 (MONDAY): CTES board meeting, 5:30 pm in the Arts Room
FEBRUARY 27 (TUESDAY): ANNUAL MEETING GMUSD 7 pm Green Mountain Union High School auditorium
• Hydroponic Gardening Workshop, 6 pm at the Cavendish Town Office, Free, Sponsored by the Cavendish Energy Committee
MARCH 1 (THURSDAY): Spaghetti Dinner & Silent Auction to Benefit the Kauffman Family. Drew Kauffman a father of a CTES student has undergone surgery for a brain tumor and the funds from this evening will help offset medical costs and treatment while Drew recovers 5-7pm at CTES. Price is $10 a person and $25 per family. Dinner includes all you can eat spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, lasagna while it lasts, dessert, lemonade, iced tea, and a feeling of fullness for helping out the Kauffman family.