LUDLOW, Vt. – Representatives of the Black River Independent School Committee were the featured speakers at a recent meeting of the Ludlow Rotary Club during its weekly luncheon meeting at DJ’s Restaurant.
Patrick Pullinen, BRISC vice chair, and Marissa Selleck, BRISC secretary, presented a detailed assessment of that group’s plans to gain recognition from the State Board of Education and its plans to raise its financial status to support the planned opening of its middle and senior high school program in August of this year.
Pullinen noted that, as of this date, BRISC had 28 students prepared to enroll in the school. They plan on about 50 at the start of the school year. Their goal was 75. He indicated that it was the intention of the committee to rent space in the Black River High School building owned by the town of Ludlow.
In reviewing the financial status of BRISC, both Pullinen and Selleck indicated that the school would receive tuition from incoming students that would be provided by the grant per student from the state. That amount would be determined by the state. The Ludlow-Mount Holly Unified Union School Board estimates its per pupil spending amount to be around $18,755.72. The BRISC amount may vary from this based on the algorithm used by the state. To date, they have raised 10% of the necessary funding.
It was emphasized that the continuation of a middle and high school program in Ludlow would have a very positive impact on the local economy. Both speakers expressed their belief that the lack of such a basic educational facility would have a very negative impact on attracting new residents to Ludlow.
According to the proposed budget summary prepared by BRISC, it is projecting revenues of $2,018,000 for its first two years of operations. Expenditures for the first start-up year were set at $1,538,888. A key element in this financial picture was the need to raise $200,000 each of the first two years from donations.
BRISC has been in contact with the River Valley Technical Center to establish a relationship so that interested students may continue to use the specialized training offered by RVTC. Transportation for students is currently being negotiated with public school districts and other sources.