School districts across Vermont are entering into “Budget Season” and Burlington School District (BSD) is pleased to announce a new budgeting model that will place more control of school budgets in the hands of principals and school communities. The District’s new “Equitable Budgeting and Staffing Model” strives to allocate resources based on student enrollment and need, seeks to build school-based engagement, and creates a new equity allocation for schools to use in efforts to close the opportunity gap. Leaders will share how budgeting will look different this year at a virtual “Equitable Budgeting Kickoff” event on October 4th at 6 PM over Zoom. Changes have also been laid out in a new BSD Budget Development Guide.
“I’m really pleased to be embarking on this new way of thinking about funding schools,” said BSD Superintendent Tom Flanagan. “We’ve spent the last year working with district leaders, teachers, students, and stakeholders on a model that is fair, predictable, equity-focused, and empowering for principals who know their buildings and student needs better than anyone.”
New to the budget process will be the Recognizing Injustice and Seeking Equity (or RISE) Allocation that each school will receive. After determining baseline staff models and resource needs, each school will receive an additional sum of money designed to help schools implement ideas and strategies designed to close the opportunity gap that exists in BSD. RISE Allocations will be based on a weighted pupil formula based, in part, on the Pupil Weighting Factors Report prepared by the Vermont Agency of Education in partnership with the University of Vermont, Rutgers University, and American Institutes for Research. Once funds for schools are determined, school leaders will work with School Advisory Groups to identify focus areas of needs and create proposals to address those needs.
“This is a great step towards our school district and our community living our values around equity,” said Kevin Robinson, Principal of Integrated Art Academy and a member of the Equitable Budget and Staffing Work Group. “I am excited about the possibilities this will offer principals and community members to have more say in how schools are funded, and how those funds may create more equitable outcomes for students.”
The public is invited to learn more about this new Equitable Budgeting and Staffing Model at a kickoff event on October 4th at 6 PM virtually over Zoom; the meeting will also be streamed and recorded on the District YouTube channel.
Visit our Facebook page to RSVP and invite your friends and colleagues. See you there!