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MMUUSD School Board Updates

 

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Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District (MMUUSD) Board serves the towns of Bolton, Huntington, Richmond, Jericho, and Underhill.  The board is comprised of representatives from these towns.

Upcoming Meetings

8/5/19
Do all towns in MMU have the same tax rate?
The education property tax rate is determined by a complicated formula with two local inputs: “education spending” and “equalized pupils.”  “Education spending” is most of the school budget approved on town meeting day and “equalized pupils” is a State formula that counts our students differently depending on demographics.

This year, Prior to the Common Level of Appraisal (CLA) adjustments, education property tax rates in Bolton, Jericho, Richmond, and Underhill decreased 0.44% from $1.4922 to $1.4855.  The Huntington rate decreased 1.64% from $1.5104 to $1.4855 (this is the first year that all students are members of the Mount Mansfield District).

After the education calculations, the Mount Mansfield education property tax rate is adjusted by the Vermont Department of Taxes for the fair market value of real estate in each town -- the Common Level of Appraisal (CLA).  This year, the CLA for Jericho is 100.53% and for Richmond is 93.15%. The Tax Department study has calculated that homes with a fair market value of $100,000 would be assessed at $100,530 Jericho and $93,150 in Richmond. Homes with equal fair market value should pay the same education tax, so the Mount Mansfield tax rate printed on tax bills this year is reduced in Jericho and increased in Richmond.

We all pay the same education tax rate, adjusted for the disparities between our individual town assessments.  This year, like many years, the education tax rate on your tax bill will be impacted more because of real estate prices in your town than by changes in our school operating costs.

Impact of the Common Level of Appraisal adjustments this year:

FY 20

pre-CLA

CLA

with CLA

Bolton

$1.4855

96.07%

$1.5463

Huntington

$1.4855

97.36%

$1.5258

Jericho

$1.4855

100.53%

$1.4777

Richmond

$1.4855

93.15%

$1.5947

Underhill

$1.4855

98.19%

$1.5129


State of Vermont Education Property Tax Rate explanation:
http://tax.vermont.gov/property-owners/understanding-property-taxes/education-tax-rates
State of Vermont  CLA information http://tax.vermont.gov/research-and-reports/reports/equalization-study 

The Mount Mansfield School Board generally meets the first and/or third Mondays of each month during the school year.  We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent and Administration to manage the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District and allow the Board to focus on goals and community engagement.  Mount Mansfield Schools include Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Brewster Pierce Elementary (Huntington), Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), and Underhill Central schools, as well as the UID preschool.


7/22/19
Mount Mansfield School District tax rate decreases 0.44%

Prior to the Common Level of Appraisal adjustments, Education property tax rates in Bolton, Jericho, Richmond, and Underhill decreased under half a percent from $1.4922 last year to $1.4855 this year.  This is the first year we are not receiving any incentive from the 2015 merger.

This is also the first year that all of Huntington’s students are members of the Mount Mansfield District.  Prior to the Common Level of Appraisal adjustment, Huntington’s tax rate decreased 1.64% from $1.5104 last year to $1.4855.

To ensure that homeowners pay education taxes based on the fair market value of their homes, the Vermont Department of Taxes conducts an annual study of home sales and adjusts the appraised values in each town by their Common Level of Appraisal (CLA).  

Impact of the Common Level of Appraisal adjustments this year:

FY 20

pre-CLA

CLA

with CLA

Bolton

$1.4855

96.07%

$1.5463

Huntington

$1.4855

97.36%

$1.5258

Jericho

$1.4855

100.53%

$1.4777

Richmond

$1.4855

93.15%

$1.5947

Underhill

$1.4855

98.19%

$1.5129

State of Vermont Education Property Tax Rate explanation:
http://tax.vermont.gov/property-owners/understanding-property-taxes/education-tax-rates
State of Vermont  CLA information http://tax.vermont.gov/research-and-reports/reports/equalization-study 

The Mount Mansfield School Board generally meets the first and/or third Mondays of each month during the school year.  We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent and Administration to manage the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District and allow the Board to focus on goals and community engagement.  Mount Mansfield Schools include Mount Mansfield Union High, Browns River Middle, Camel’s Hump Middle, Brewster Pierce Elementary (Huntington), Jericho Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Smilie Memorial (Bolton), and Underhill Central schools, as well as the UID preschool.


6/14/19

Thank You and School Board Meeting in Bolton 

Thank you to everyone who came to our Special Meeting on June 6th.  450 people voted in favor and 191 against accepting Huntington elementary into the MMU district.  The merger will be effective July 1. No changes are planned for the operation of our schools. The board appreciates everyone taking time to participate.  We also want to acknowledge the efforts of many school administrators and staff in preparing for and supporting such a huge gathering.

The MMU school board will meet on June 17th, 6:30 PM at Smilie Memorial School in Bolton.  An optional tour of the facilities will be offered at 6 PM.

We will begin our meeting by hearing from the Smilie Principal and any community comments.  The board will approve approve utilizing up to $150,000 from the Capital Reserve to fund the UID renovations, approve submitting a unified budget to the VT Agency of Education, discuss the status of the Huntington School District vs MMMUSD Lawsuit, hear updates from committees, and discuss Long-term Planning.  Our next scheduled meeting will be in September.

Link to meeting agenda: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ug2xOXBXnDoSCheJOB6NE8ObAm2AnYKr1Khz7PWfn4w/edit?usp=sharing 

The Mount Mansfield School Board generally meets the first and/or third Mondays of each month, September through June.  We use a Policy Governance framework to enable the Superintendent to manage the district and allow the board to focus on goals and community engagement.


6/6/19 MMMUSD Merger Vote Passes

At a warned special meeting on June 6, 2019, the voters of the Mt. Mansfield Modified Union School District (MMMUSD) accepted the PreK-4 Huntington School District as a full PreK-12 member.  The vote count was 450-Yes, 191-No and 1 abstention. Unification of the districts takes effect on July 1, 2019. At this time, the Chittenden East Supervisory Union will cease operations and the new Mt. Mansfield Unified Union School District (MMUUSD) will assume governance, administrative and operational responsibilities for all nine schools.  

The Mt. Mansfield school community warmly and enthusiastically welcomes the Huntington School District as full and highly valued partner in the new unified school system.   


5/17/19 MMU School Board meeting and Vote reminder

The MMMUSD school board will meet on Monday May 20th, 6:30 PM at Camels Hump Middle School.  
Once each year we take time to thank some of our extraordinary school volunteers.  At 6 o’clock school board members, recognized volunteers, and guests will gather for refreshments and conversation.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM with the Golden apple awards presentation.

After a brief recess, the board will hear any community comments and approve the tentative contract agreement with our teachers.  The annual Superintendent review will be in executive session, and the board will conduct an annual self-evaluation before receiving an update on the upcoming vote.

On Thursday June 6th beginning at 6 PM, voters from Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will gather at Mount Mansfield Union High School to decide if MMMUSD will accept Huntington Elementary pursuant to Act 46.  Vermont state law requires that this vote be conducted as a town-meeting-style meeting facilitated by the MMMUSD moderator. After public comment, the moderator plans to call for a vote at 7:30 pm. For all interested in speaking at the meeting, a sign-up sheet will be available. An informational flyer will be mailed shortly.  

The MMMUSD Board has taken the formal position that a single school district is in the best interests of all students, staff and taxpayers.  Adopting the state’s preferred governance style promotes efficiency, makes budgets easier for all to understand and reduces administrative bookkeeping.  Maintaining two separate districts and the Supervisory Union results in an estimated $100,000 in additional administrative costs per year. 

The meeting will be held in the MMU Gym with additional overflow seating in the auditorium, where the meeting will be live streamed.  There is parking for 500 cars in the lots at MMU and additional overflow parking onsite as well. Check in will be with the town clerk from the town where you are registered to vote in the lobby on the way to the gym.  

Voters must be registered in one of the towns that makes up the MMMUSD and must be present at the time of the vote. Childcare will be available and MMCTV will be streaming the meeting live at https://livestream.com/mmctv/MmmuVoteJune6. If you have any mobility challenges that could prohibit your attendance, please contact MMU at 899-4690 for assistance.


5/3/19 School Board meeting in Huntington to include merger Q&A

The MMU school board will meet on Monday May 6th, 6:30 PM at Brewster Pierce Memorial School in Huntington.

We will begin by hearing from the Principal, our student representatives, and any community comments.  While the MMU board does not govern the Brewster Pierce School, we meet in all of our towns at least once each school year.  We appreciate Huntington’s hospitality as well as the Principal’s regular updates on the Huntington elementary school and students.

This meeting will include an unusual agenda item: A question and answer session on the June 6th merger vote at MMU at 6 PM.  The MMU board normally plans forums and other community engagement outside of board meetings. Since our board was already scheduled to meet in Huntington, we decided to use the opportunity to offer a Q&A.  Afterward, the board will discuss community outreach on the merger question that might include a mailing and another forum. The town-meeting-style vote in June will naturally include discussion of the question.

MMU uses a Policy Governance model where community outreach is intentionally designed to be outside of board meetings.  On Monday, the MMU board will be approving its’ Community Engagement Plan and receiving Community Engagement training. This is an opportunity to learn how the MMU board engages with the community.

The meeting will end with an executive session to discuss a personnel issue.  The full agenda may be found here: https://outlook.live.com/mail/inbox/id/AQMkADAwATIwMTAwAC0wMABmYS0yMDU4LTAwAi0wMAoARgAAA%2BVQNN9363NMm3Hjg4MARKHQBwDgkdqLo67HS7X3fTqYSCOFAAACAQwAAADgkdqLo67HS7X3fTqYSCOFAAJhs%2BgHAAAA

On Thursday June 6th beginning at 6 PM, voters from Jericho, Richmond, Underhill, Bolton, and Huntington will gather at Mount Mansfield Union High School for a town-meeting-style vote to accept Huntington elementary into our school district.  This special meeting is being held pursuant to the State Board of Education November 2018 order and in compliance with 16 V.S.A. § 721 (a) and 17 V.S.A. § 2680.  The question we will vote on is “Shall the voters of the Mount Mansfield Modified Unified Union School District approve the addition of the Huntington School District as a part of the Mount Mansfield Modified Unified Union School District under the terms of the Vermont State Board of Education’s November 28, 2018 Final Report of Decisions and Order on Statewide School District Merger Decisions Pursuant to Act 46, Sections 8(b) and 10?