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Education bill proposes single districts

Posted on February 19, 2015 |
By John Flowers



BRISTOL — The House Education Committee is drafting a new bill that would eliminate the state’s more than 60 supervisory unions and replace them with larger school districts that advocates believe could do a better job sharing resources while carrying fewer employees.

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Editorial: Education bill sets the stage for Town Meeting discussion

Posted on February 19, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Consider how it might work if a legislative proposal to create a single school board per school district were approved this session. The measure, for example, would phase out the seven elementary school boards in the Addison Central Supervisory Union, the UD-3 board (representing the Middlebury Union Middle School and the Middlebury Union High School), and the supervisory union board. In their place, one district board would represent that seven-town constituency with one combined budget.

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Lawmakers weigh costs of school consolidation

Posted on February 12, 2015 |
By Evan Johnson



MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont House Education Committee is “up to our eyeballs in education policy,” committee chairman Rep. David Sharpe told a group of around 40 at the Legislative Breakfast at the Middlebury American Legion hall on Monday. The Bristol Democrat said that changes to the way Vermont schools are governed and financed is high on the legislative agenda.

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On Point In Education: Reauthorization of education law is opportunity for change

Posted on February 11, 2015 |
By Peter Burrows



The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which spawned the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, is the central linchpin of the federal education agenda. Signed into law in 1965 by Lyndon Johnson, it has set forth federal agendas on education and has been the primary pathway for federal funding to state and local agencies.

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Opinion: School finance reform needed

Posted on January 28, 2015 |
By George Jaeger



Max Kraus’ excellent letter in the Jan. 15 Addison Independent goes to the heart of the matter. It’s not just that school taxes are high and rising — even as student populations decline — but that the system is hugely inefficient and produces at best average results.

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End of Small School Grants would hit home

Posted on January 26, 2015 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



ADDISON COUNTY — As lawmakers wrestle with education funding reform this winter, one idea that has gained some favor in Montpelier is ending “Small School Grants,” extra funding to smaller schools that helps them keep their doors open. Gov. Peter Shumlin, for one, made that recommendation in his Jan. 15 budget address.

In recent years the Legislature has tried to address what lawmakers see as cost inefficiencies in smaller schools by passing laws to encourage unification within and between school districts.

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Opinion: School funding must be changed

Posted on January 14, 2015 |
By Max Kraus



As the debate over school funding heats up I would like to add my voice to those who view our school taxes too high AND unfairly allocated. I believe the two problems are interrelated.

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On Point In Education: Good to great

Posted on January 8, 2015 |
By Peter Burrows



As we watch the political and emotional wheels turn before the start of our next legislative session, a familiar reality is emerging on the key educational issues we are facing. Proponents and opponents are lining up on both sides, decrying the data that are surfacing. Similar to the trajectory of the H.883 governance conversation last year, there are challenges ahead as we look to engage in bipartisan dialogue about Vermont’s next steps in education on a solid foundation of common ground.

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Rep. David Sharpe to head education committee

Posted on January 8, 2015 |
By John Flowers



Sharpe.jpg

BRISTOL — Addison County will have an important seat at the table when the Vermont Legislature gets to work this month on education finance reform, tabbed by many lawmakers as the top priority for the 2015 session.

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith has picked Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, to chair the House Education Committee, a panel that will clearly play a big role in devising and advancing any bills aimed at changing the manner in which the state’s public schools are financed.

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Top stories of 2014: #8 — School budgets go down as call for tax reform grows

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By Addison Independent



FPMarch6.jpg

As in many past years, 2014 saw many Vermonters complain about their property taxes, and that portion of the tax that pays for education in particular. But as in most years, proposals for reform of school funding were put forward but not acted upon.

Still, residents in seven local towns indicated that they had had enough, and they rejected some proposed school spending plans on Town Meeting Day.

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