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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.

full story

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.

full story

Guest editorial: Vt. needs to fix school funding; start by changing governance

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By Emerson Lynn



Speaker of the House Shap Smith has spent the past couple of weeks asking Vermonters for their ideas on how the state can reduce property taxes and still maintain a high quality educational system.

He should be careful for what he asks.

full story

Editorial: Vermont bucks 'popular' politics to invest in its kids

Posted on December 15, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



It’s popular today to be critical of politicians in Washington, D.C., and in Montpelier. It’s popular to be against government spending and for tax cuts. It’s also popular to be against spending more on education — both at the state level and federal.

But what’s popular is not always smart.

What’s smart is to raise and spend money in ways that make our society stronger, enrich the individual and reduce the need for spending more on the back end.

full story

Opinion: Per-pupil cost info would help

Posted on December 10, 2014 |
By Ken Wilkins



The Dec. 4 editorial outlines the burden of tax for Vermont payers. Understanding of the reason for high tax rates per pupil is different. However, I do understand relative comparisons of expense.

If the school department would publish a comparison chart of cost per pupil in the other New England states, we would have a better understanding that you are doing a good job.

Ken Wilkins

Middlebury

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Community Forum: School spending must change

Posted on December 3, 2014 |
By Gov. Peter Shumlin



This week’s writer is Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

We recently released an estimate that property taxes used to pay for public school education will increase once again this year to pay for a projected increase in school spending. While this year’s projected property tax increase of around two cents is half of last year’s, it is hardly good news. We all know that rising property taxes to fund education have put an unsustainable burden on Vermonters.

full story

Opinion: Mind the gap in education

Posted on October 31, 2014 |
By Peter Burrows



Last month, I wrote about the need for leadership on the educational issues facing Vermont, to address the great divide that exists on many of our most critical decisions. There are growing signs on every level of our educational systems that we must move forward and take action rather than engage in positional debates that further erode the platform from which we need to build a vision for education in Vermont.

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