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Letter to the Editor: Roxbury School Cost Per Pupil Too High

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A Montpelier Roxbury Public Schools Classroom before the 2020-2021 school year. Photo by Carla Occaso.

Editor, to members of the Montpelier Roxbury School Board,

As I read through the presentation of your proposed 2022 budget, I was concerned to see the cost per pupil to educate the 32 current students at Roxbury School was at least $10,000 higher than at any of the three Montpelier-based schools. Page 24 of your budget proposal details per pupil spending.  

Per-pupil cost at Roxbury School is $33,382.01, which is $11,456.27 higher than at Union Elementary School, $13,518.49 higher than at Main Street Middle School, and $10,223.87 higher than at Montpelier High School. While additional spending of $320,000 in one year is barely defensible, the thought of $1,000,000 over the next three years is really shocking.

I am writing to urge you to begin a community-wide conversation immediately about this challenge. We all support the best possible education for Vermont students — that’s a given. What ideas can we generate that would put $1 million to much better use?  

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Let’s start talking about this now in order to maximize the value of our resources in continuing to offer a top-notch education for all our students.  

Jean Olson 

Montpelier, Vermont