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VT Public Schools See Multiple Budget Proposals Struck Down

Prospects appear to be dimming for big changes in how Vermont governs and pays for its public schools this year.

About three dozen local school districts have voted down their school budgets in the past five weeks, the largest number since 2003. That was the year lawmakers passed the last big overhaul of school financing, splitting the rates for homesteads and nonresidential properties.

Lawmakers say the local school district defeats, and dozens of others in which budgets passed narrowly, reflect growing frustration with school tax increases at a time of declining student enrollments.

One proposal being floated is to move toward more reliance on the income tax in the coming years and shift away from the property tax.

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