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Time running out at Statehouse for education reform bill

Posted on April 17, 2014 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Local lawmakers on Monday were unsure whether a sweeping bill calling for expansion of public school districts would receive final legislative approval before the 2014 session concludes in about three weeks.

The bill in question is H.883, which allows the state’s current 282 school to voluntarily realign into around 50 expanded K-12 districts. Each school district would be governed by a single board and operate on a single budget.

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Eric Davis: Bill seeks income tax to fund schools

Posted on April 17, 2014 |
By Eric L. Davis



The House Education Committee’s bill to eliminate approximately 80 percent of Vermont’s school districts by consolidating their number from 273 to about 50 has been the subject of considerable debate in recent weeks in the Statehouse, in the education community, and in the press.

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Editorial: H.883 — Changing status quo needed to improve outcomes

Posted on April 17, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



At Monday’s legislative breakfast, Weybridge resident Fran Putnam asked an important question concerning a legislative proposal to consolidate school governance districts as drafted in H.883: “Before we totally throw the baby out with the bathwater,” she said, “we really need to think about: What is the problem we’re trying to solve, what is the goal here, and is this the best way to do it?”

Rep. David Sharpe, D-Bristol, answered that question in part:

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Editorial: H.552 — House plan unravels state's pro-business efforts

Posted on April 10, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



The primary reason to phase in the minimum wage hike in Vermont from $8.73 per hour to $10.10 per hour over three years—instead of rushing to that level by Jan. 1, 2015 as House bill H-552 mandates—is so Vermont businesses can gradually adjust to the 15 percent hike in labor expenses and are not put at a disadvantage with neighboring states.

That argument, and the big-picture narrative that goes along with it, seems lost on many members of the House.

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Lawmakers debate shorelands protection, GMO labeling bills

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By Zach Despart



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BRIDPORT — Two issues dominated the conversation at the annual legislative luncheon Monday in Bridport: bills in the Legislature to mandate the labeling of genetically modified foods and pollution regulations affecting Lake Champlain.

Farmers, community members and legislators packed the Bridport Community Hall Monday for the luncheon devoted to agriculture issues. State Reps. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven, Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, and Will Stevens, I-Shoreham, were on hand to discuss agricultural issues facing Addison County farmers.

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College student running for Vt. House seat

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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MIDDLEBURY — Calvin McEathron should be pretty well set up to pursue a career as a politician if he successfully earns a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Middlebury College in 2016.

But McEathron, a 20-year-old sophomore, doesn’t plan on waiting another two years before making his mark in the legislative arena. The East Montpelier native confirmed on Tuesday he plans to run for one of Middlebury’s two seats in the Vermont House, a campaign he will pursue as an independent.

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Bill H.883 would dramatically cut number of school districts, boards

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By Addison Independent



MONTPELIER — A bill working its way through the Vermont House of Representatives would dramatically alter the way primary and secondary schools in the Green Mountain State are governed.

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Two area supervisory unions reject school consolidation

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By Lee J. Kahrs



BRANDON / FAIR HAVEN  — The Rutland Northeast and Rutland Addison supervisory unions on March 26 both passed resolutions officially rejecting H.833, the school consolidation bill.

The RNeSU resolution reads as follows:

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Opinion: Shoreland bill fails to deliver

Posted on April 2, 2014 |
By David Bronson



These comments on some of the issues regarding the H.526 Lake Shoreland Protection Standards Bill as passed by the Vermont Senate are based on my understanding of what appears would or could be the case given what it says. The bill is proposed to go into effect July 1, 2014.

The bill lacks an exemption stating existing habitable structures and other impervious surfaces can be maintained.

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Opinion: Ill-advised bill would eliminate supervisory unions

Posted on March 31, 2014 |
By Carol Brigham



A challenge to all Vermont school board members:

I have missed very few of my local town meetings in the last 30 years. Of course, being an elected member of the Whiting school board the last 21 years is a good reason to be there. But in Whiting, everyone who wants a “say” in the town and school business must come to town meeting. All budgets and elections are done on the floor. Elections are most often uncontested, but if there are any rumors of a competition, the hall is packed.

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