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FY 2025 Budget

Our ACSD community will have the opportunity to vote on the Addison Central School DistrictFY25 Budget at Town Meeting Day, March 5th 2024, in their respective towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham, and Weybridge (locations and times found in the Special Meeting Notice below.) Please find the ACSD Budget Book and resources below to help understand our FY25 budget and Vermont Education funding

ACSD FY25 Budget Overview

First page of the PDF file: ACSDFY25BudgetOverview9

To view or print the 4-page Budget Overview click here.

ACSD FY2025 Budget Book

First page of the PDF file: FY25BudgetBookMasterFinalv1

To view and/or download the entire budget book click on the image above or click here.

Budget warnings

Pupil Weights - FAQ

First page of the PDF file: BudgetPupilWeightFAQ

Opportunities for Public Engagement 

  • Recording below of the Virtual Q&A Session held February 15th

  • The full budget presentation will be given at the ACSD Annual Meeting on February 27th at 7:00 p.m. (Details below in the Annual Meeting Notice.)

Budget Q+A Recording

FY25 Budget FAQs

The ACSD Board encourages you to read the Frequently Asked (and answered) Questions below. If you have any remaining questions, the Board invites you to ask them by filing out this form (before Feb 27th). In addition to the resources below, the Board offers the following opportunities to learn more about the FY25 Budget:


  1. What are the factors driving the ACSD FY25 budget?
  • Implementation of the State’s new Act 127 reduces our share of the State Education funding by 13%. Our decreased enrollment in FY25 further reduces that amount.
  • $1.3 Million in Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency (ESSER) Relief money from the pandemic is going away
  • The cost of healthcare benefits and services has increased 16%
  • ACSD’s pending contract negotiations with teacher and support staff unions are expected to result in increased wages
  • Other increased expenses, including transportation and insurance costs, higher tuition for the Hannaford Career Center, and the new childcare payroll tax

2. What was the District’s rationale when developing this budget?

  • The Board and District administration sought to balance the needs of our students and educators with efforts to minimize the tax impacts from new State education funding legislation. 

  • The proposed FY25 budget allows us to continue remediating the interrupted learning years brought on by the pandemic, and begin work on our District’s ambitious plan to equitably increase all educational outcomes by 2030.

  • The FY25 budget provides continuity and operational stability for our new superintendent as our next leadership chapter begins.

  • Finally, the FY25 budget allows us to bypass the fiscal pitfall created by the State’s new laws, shielding taxpayers from perilous rate increases. 

3. What can I expect the ACSD FY25 budget to do to my taxes?

  • Your property taxes are calculated by the district’s Equalized District Tax Rate (EDTR) divided by your town’s Common Level of Appraisal (CLA):

Equalized District Tax Rate (EDTR)
Common Level of Appraisal (CLA)

  • The EDTR is determined by our education spending compared to our enrollment, student weighting, and property yield (which dictates how much education money we get from the state).  In general, the EDTR increases as property yield declines, with increased education spending, and/or decreased enrollment & student weighting. And as the numerator in the property tax equation, if the EDTR increases, property taxes will increase. In FY24, our EDTR was $1.40.

  • The Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) is a factor used to convert EDTR into Town Tax Rate. The CLA is a representation of the relationship between a town’s assessed property values and market property values, and is used to ensure that citizens in each town pay their fair share in taxes. 

    • If CLA = 1, then a town’s tax rate is the same as the EDTR

    • If CLA < 1, then the town’s market property values are higher than the assessed, so their tax rates will be higher than the EDTR

    • If CLA >1, then the town’s market property values are lower, so their tax rates will be less than the EDTR

  • Due to several other factors listed in Question #1, ACSD’s general fund education spending is projected to increase 8.2 % from FY24. This increase, along with decreased enrollment and the impact of Act 127 on our student weighting is expected to increase the EDTR for FY25 between $1.48 to $1.52, based on the State’s current property yield estimates. 

NOTE: This range includes a $0.13 tax rate “discount” provided by the State to assist with the transition to Act 127’s new pupil weighting system. 

  • What that means for you: property taxes will likely increase. The exact amount depends on the final property yield and your town’s CLA. Contributing to the issue is the fact that soaring property values in Vermont have affected CLAs in a way that also increases town tax rates. 


4. How does ESSER funding affect the ACSD budget this year?

  • This budget is the first in several years without the Federal ESSER funding that paid for many of our post-COVID student support positions and programming.

  • Because the district still has student need for academic recovery, the proposed FY25 budget retains those programs and instructional positions that directly impact students. Moving these expenses into our General Fund puts additional pressure on our budget.

5. Will ESSER-funded positions remain in place, or will we lose those people from our district?

  • The proposed budget maintains current district-wide programming and a little over half of the staff added under pandemic relief funding. In order to keep the District’s increased per-pupil spending down to minimize the additional tax burden of Act 127, six (6) Full Time Equivalent (FTE) ESSER-funded positions were not continued into the FY25 budget. 

6. How does the State’s Act 127 impact the ACSD budget this year?

  • The implementation of Act 127 will impact the portion (or share) of the State’s education funds that each district receives, based on their student populations. The new law changes how each student is “counted” or weighted in the state education funding model, and assigns new pupil weights with the intention of making statewide education funding more equitable in how it is distributed.

  • Higher weights are given to students who need more resources (e.g., students living in poverty, ELL students, secondary students, etc.). ACSD does not have as many of these higher weighted students as other districts, and also has less students enrolled than it used to, so it will receive less state funding. 

  • This means that under the new system, in order to fund the same budget as we had last year, our taxpayers will have to pay more in property taxes. Like many other districts across Vermont, ours is facing a steep increase. Luckily, Act 127 provides a 5-year transition mechanism to help reduce the immediate tax burden on districts that are negatively impacted by the new legislation.

7. I’ve read about proposed changes to Act 127 in the paper. What impact will the proposed revisions have on the Equalized District Tax Rate?

  • The EDTR for FY25 is expected to increase. The exact amount will depend on the State’s final property yield and the Act 127 transition mechanism.

  • Our increased tax rate is due to several drivers, but Act 127 is the biggest reason because it significantly changes how our enrolled students are counted and weighted. As a result of the new law, in FY25 ACSD will receive a 13% reduction in its portion of the State Education Fund and will need to make up the difference through an increase in property taxes. 

  • The original Act 127 legislation provided a 5% tax rate cap for districts that restricted annual increases to their per-pupil spending to less than 10%. This would allow districts to acclimate to the financial impacts of the new legislation over a 5-year period. However, due to some unintended consequences of the 5% tax rate cap, resulting from unprecedented increases in education spending across Vermont , even those districts who were not negatively impacted by Act 127 qualified for the 5% cap. This dramatically reduced the amount of funds available per weighted pupil and increased the amount of dollars that needed to be raised through increased taxes. The State is in the process of revising the original legislation for how this relief will be provided. 

  • The revised legislation replaces the 5% tax rate cap with a “tax discount” only available to districts negatively impacted by Act 127. In addition, the amount of relief provided to an eligible district is determined by its actual reduction in state funding. Based on this revised legislation, ACSD will receive a tax rate discount starting at  $0.13 in FY25, resulting in an estimated EDTR between $1.48 and $1.52. The discount will be reduced each year until it is completely phased out after the 5th year.  The Board believes that the tax rate discount will serve as a better transitional support mechanism for our District  as we adjust to the Act 127 legislation. 

  • In order to qualify for the 5% tax rate cap provided in the original Act 127 legislation, the  Board worked hard to ensure that our annual increases in education spending per equalized pupil fell below 10%. And although revised legislation will no longer require this threshold to qualify for relief, the Board is committed to keeping increases in education spending under 10% to keep our tax rates as low as possible while meeting the needs of our students.

  • This strategy will give the district a runway to adapt to the actual tax rate impact of Act 127 over several fiscal years, which will give us some time to determine how we can adjust our future spending. 

8. Will ACSD need to delay its FY25 budget vote?

  • The proposed new legislation also has a provision to allow districts to delay their budget vote beyond March 5th. This provision was included to allow districts that were taking advantage of the 5% tax rate cap, even though they were not negatively impacted by Act 127, to lower their proposed budgets if needed. 

  • ACSD’s situation is different. Since we were negatively impacted by Act 127, we lowered our proposed budget to ensure that we were able to qualify for the 5% cap. Our initial review of the proposed discount indicates that the change will not require us to modify our proposed FY25 budget. Therefore, we will not need to delay the March 5th FY25 budget vote.

9. How do these financial pressures impact staffing and the student experience?

  • The proposed FY25 Budget aims to maintain current staffing and services to meet student needs, but in order to keep our increased spending below the threshold to qualify for the 5% tax rate cap, 6 ESSER-funded FTE positions were not added to the general fund.  These spending cuts would still be necessary even if the State replaces the current 5% tax cap with a “tax discount.”

10. What is the impact on Special Education and serving students with higher needs?

  • The state’s Act 173 changes how special education funds are allocated. In FY25, special education funding will be delivered to school districts by way of a Census Block Grant, rather than a reimbursement model based on the services provided to IEP-eligible students. 

  • The good news: for ACSD, this change will result in an additional $400,000 for special education funding in FY25. 

  • The proposed FY25 budget has organized special education and other student service expenses into a separate cost center (rather than being assigned to specific school buildings). This will allow student service resources to be more easily deployed across the district, wherever and whenever student needs require them.

11. What does all of this mean for ACSD in the future?

  • The implementation of Act 127 means that ACSD qualifies for less education funding from the state. This will require more local fundraising from each taxpayer to maintain even a level funded budget. In FY26 and beyond we will still be under the same set of spending constraints and property tax implications. 

  • Act 127 does provide a transition mechanism over the next 5 years to adjust to its impact.  We know there are major financial decisions and conversations facing our district over the next several years. Regardless of the transition mechanism used, school districts negatively impacted by the new legislation will need to reduce their future spending to ease into the financial impacts of Act 127. 

  • The ACSD Board recently approved a new five-year strategic plan, and our district administration is already working to identify how to implement this plan while strategically aligning it with our spending and budget priorities. 

  • We will soon welcome our new superintendent, Dr. Wendy Baker, who will lead our district in identifying the most effective ways to increase educational outcomes and shrink the achievement gap within our financial capabilities. 

  • For this immediate year, given the “perfect storm” of challenges facing our budget, the Board feels this proposal allows us to maintain essential continuity of services and programs, while remaining fiscally responsible.

12. Why does the FY25 budget propose moving the FY23 Unassigned Fund Balance to the ACSD Capital Reserve Fund?

  • The FY23 Unassigned Fund Balance is unspent money left over from the 2022-23 academic year. The preliminary total is $2,033,842 – which will be confirmed through our annual audit. 

  • The District proposes moving that unspent money to the Capital Reserve Fund so that it may be used for construction projects or other capital improvements that might be needed. Given the needs of many of our school buildings, the Board believes this is the best use of this money.