Our regular monthly PTO meeting is tonight from 5:30-7 in the school library. All are welcome! Pizza will be provided but unfortunately we do not have childcare tonight.
Agenda items include:
-updates on the Burlington school budget coming up for vote in March and school financing issues at the state level
-the school play this weekend!!!
-debrief on the Valentine’s Dance
-Montshire Museum visit
-and some other stuff
Hope to see you there!!
By “all of this” I mean all of the great work that gets done in our schools.
Join with community members, the Burlington School Board, school administrators and VT state senators and representatives from the city of Burlington Saturday (tomorrow!!) February 11, from 9 AM to 11 AM in the Edmunds Middle School Cafeteria @ 275 Main St. Burlington. Parking is behind the building.
The governor’s recent budget proposal would have, if accepted by the state legislature, resulted in significant cuts to our school district. What would we have cut? What can we cut and still operate at a level that is acceptable to the community? Where is the waste?
The governor’s proposal was rejected, but a state budget has not yet been adopted. The governor has already shown a willingness to reduce state funding to schools in order to balance the state budget, he is just trying to figure out how. In the meantime, many feel that the property tax stream of revenue is overburdened and is no longer appropriate as a main source of funding for schools. Every year it becomes more difficult to ask local property tax payers for more money.
So, what is the answer? The urgency to figure it out is increasing, especially with so many unknowns at the federal level.
Please join the conversation on how to fund the public school system without overburdening the tax base. Let legislators know what is important to you, to what this community is committed and with what we are willing to part.
Let’s work together to strengthen our local public education system! If you support the concept of public education now is the time to show your support!
See you there!
Hi Smith families,
The Valentine’s Dance is tonight!! Yippee! Adult volunteers are needed to take tickets and keep an eye on each table, easy peasy! Please show the dance committee a little love! VOLUNTEER HERE and we’ll love you back! Tis the season!
Tonight’s dance promises to be a ton of fun! There are activities for the kids, our own world famous (ish) DJ Wild Bill spinning great tunes, and you don’t even have to feed your family before you come! There will be pizza, a fruit and veggie table, dessert (the best part!), and friends!
Admission to the dance is free! Activities and food can be purchased with tickets that you buy at the door. Join us from 6-8 in the Smith gym for a guaranteed good time!
Join the fun and VOLUNTEER HERE!!
Thank you!! You guys are the best!
Everybody, Valentine’s Dance this Friday from 6-8! It’s going to be awesome with our very own DJ Wild Bill, plus activities, pizza, a bake sale, and fun for the whole family!
And what are you grown ups planning to do while your little people run around in giant circles with their friends? You might as well man one of the tables, right? We sure would appreciate your help!
And thank you! See you Friday!
As may of you know the CP Smith showing of Where the Wild Things Are is coming up very soon! (2/16 and 17. Details below)
In preparation our group of young actors and singers could use your help. There is a link below to a sign up genius which outlines the when and where of a few tasks that need doing.
Below that, you’ll find a list of supplies they need.
Thanks to all of you for your support of this event!!
Hi Smith families,
You may or may not be aware that the Burlington School Board approved a budget for the FY 18 school year (2017-18) that, for the first time in 3 years, did not include cuts. If fact, it reinstated full time librarians and some other positions that had been eliminated over the last few years.
Local PTOs and school district supporters were gearing up to support this budget in the community to assure voter approval on Town Meeting Day in March, when a bombshell was dropped by the governor’s office.
Governor Phil Scott recently proposed a state budget that, if passed by the legislature, mandates that all school districts freeze school spending at last year’s amounts. This would mean that the Burlington School District would have to scrap plans to reinstate the librarians to the high school and the two magnet schools, among other improvements, and would instead be forced to make approximately $3 million in cuts to our schools staffing and programming.
In addition to this, the governor proposed that two newly created expenses, early child care and tuition assistance, would be paid for from the state education fund (which collects and manages our property tax payments), and one large expense, teacher retirement costs, would be transferred from the state general fund to the education fund. This means that, despite cuts to Burlington schools, our property tax bills would still go up because of the added expense to the state education fund.
State legislators have shut down the proposal to level fund the school districts due mostly to limited time and logistics (budgets are already approved and ballots have gone to print for the March 7 vote). However, the governor is still looking for ways to leverage the education fund and its source of revenue, property taxes, to repair an imbalance to the general fund without raising state taxes.
There are a few ways to find out more about this and to have your voice heard:
1) Our local legislators and the Burlington School District have organized a town hall style meeting where they plan to “answer questions and engage people in small groups.” This meeting will be held in the Edmunds cafeteria (275 Main St. Burlington) on Saturday Feb 11 from 9-11 AM.
2) The Vermont House and Senate Committees on Appropriations are seeking public input on the FY 2018 Governor’s Proposed State Budget and will hold community-based public hearings on Monday, February 13, 2017, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the 6 locations across the state. The nearest one to us is Winooski: Community College of Vermont, Janice Couture Room (108).
3) An additional public hearing will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2017, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in room 11 of the State House in Montpelier.
Not only is our participation necessary to change the trajectory of events toward a more positive outcome for Burlington schools, but our collective creativity and intelligence is being called upon to generate solutions to public spending issues without damaging the systems and institutions on which we rely.
Please join us at one of these meetings or at this month’s CP Smith PTO meeting to be held Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30-7:00 in the Smith library.