• One of These Things

    One of These Things is Not Like the Other

    Understanding the Cost of a Vocational Technical Education
    When it comes to appreciating the value of a vocational education, you get it. From the high-tech shop equipment to the smartboard and laptops, your teen applies theory learned in mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies to solve workplace/life problems encountered in their career vocational technical shops. But it all comes with a cost. 

    As the budget season advances and we present our approved fiscal budget to our 13 sending towns for final vote and approval, some critics say the cost of vocational technical eduction is too high. As you examine your investment in BVT, it’s important to understand that we must meet the state’s vocational guidelines and rigorous academic standards. Although the state estimates that a vocational education should be double that of a traditional education, BVT has put forth budgets featuring a per-pupil cost far below that estimate. In fact, with the inclusion of state aid and our aggressive pursuit of grants, the per-pupil cost to our towns often mirrors that of their local system. We’re proud that BVT is consistently in the bottom third of Massachusetts vocational schools when comparing per-pupil expenditure. We consider that a testimony to your return on investment.  

    Annually, we request an all-inclusive, one-time consolidated assessment to each of our member towns. Any valid attempt to compare or contrast BVT versus local per-pupil costs must first add the multiple cost center subsidies found within the municipal and not school side of the ledger. Such expenses include but are not limited to:

    • Central office
    • Capital improvements
    • Casualty, health, life, and property insurance 
    • Federal and state revenue shortfalls
    • Legal expenses 
    • Pension obligations
    • School resource officer
    • Trash, recycling, and snow removal
    • Treasurer, audit, and other expenses
    • Unemployment and workers' compensation

    With winter upon us, it’s easy to imagine it’s a snowy night throughout the district. You and your teen are anticipating a late start, school cancellation, or remote work day.

    Apples: In our sending towns, the highway departments are gearing up for snow removal within their municipalities, including local schools. We are pleased to observe this level of support. No matter what the morning brings, school parking lots, sidewalks, and pathways will be safe for students and staff. 

    Oranges: In Upton, the town highway department will not be clearing our campus of snow. Alternatively, we are responsible for providing safe passage for our students and staff, and paying for snow removal, including the cost of equipment (truck, plow, and salt spreader) and ongoing maintenance and insurance.

    Known for our cost-saving approaches, we’ve earned a reputation for going the extra mile and investigating new techniques. Case in point, we’re working with our health insurance brokers to examine claims to identify new wellness supports, which will subsequently reduce insurance costs and the demand for budgetary funding. 

  • Your Vote Matters!
    We need your support this spring, 
    as our proposed budget heads to
    13 Annual Town Meetings. Support our
    budget and vote “YES!” for high-quality
    vocational-technical education at the
    annual meeting in your hometown. 

    FY25 Annual Town Meetings
    All dates and locations are subject
    to change. Please refer to your town website
    or municipal office for more information.

    Wednesday, May 22nd – 7:30 p.m.
    Bellingham High School

    Tuesday, May 28th – 7:30 p.m.
    Blackstone High School

    Monday, May 6th – 7:00 p.m.
    Douglas High School Auditorium

    Monday, May 13th – 7:30 p.m. 
    Grafton High School Auditorium

    Tuesday, May 21 – 7:00 p.m. 
    Hopedale Jr./Sr. High School

    Friday, May 3rd – 7:00 p.m.
    Miscoe Hill Middle School Auditorium

    Monday, May 20th – 7:00 p.m.
    Milford Town Hall

    Tuesday, May 7th – 7:00 p.m.
    Millbury Memorial Jr./Sr. 
    High School Auditorium

    Monday, May 13th – 7:00 p.m.
    Millville Elementary School

    Tuesday, May 7th – 7:00 p.m.
    Northbridge Middle School

    Monday, May 13th – 7:00 p.m.
    Sutton High School Auditorium

    Thursday, May 2nd – 7:00 p.m.
    Nipmuc High School Auditorium

    Tuesday, May 14th – 7:00 p.m.
    Valley Chapel
    16 Hunter Road