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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/addison/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1118.
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On Point in Education: Incentivizing our education system

Posted on March 4, 2015 |
By Peter Burrows



The House Education bill, H.361, is out. This rangy bill covers a considerable number of educational issues, and carries with it many of the ideas that had been raised through House Speaker Shap Smith’s education workgroup. Specifically, it bears down on both education spending and governance, proposing a spending cap and an incentive/disincentive approach that aims to move us forward collectively and strike a balance between mandate and self-selection.

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Opinion: Senate gun bill passage is a public health imperative

Posted on March 4, 2015 |
By Sally Kerschner et al.



The Vermont Public Health Association is greatly concerned about gun violence death and disability and its profound and lasting negative effect on families and communities. Thus we support the 2015 Legislature’s efforts to create legislation that will minimize Vermonters’ exposure to ill-intended or accidental gun violence.

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Opinion: Vt. gun laws in need of updating

Posted on March 4, 2015 |
By Bobbi Loney



In January 1,400 letters and 12,000 petition signatures were hand delivered in Montpelier in support of a bill to be sponsored by, among others, our Sen. Claire Ayer. The bill, S.31, is about to be re-drafted to focus on two of the three provisions originally included.

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Editorial: Voters' message on school budgets — Keep moving forward

Posted on March 4, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



School budgets around the state, for the most part, fared better this year than last when 34 budgets were defeated in town meeting balloting. Why the difference? Largely because the average school budget increase was held to just under 3 percent, compared to much higher increases in 2014.

But there is also the perception that the Legislature is responding to the changing landscape caused by the steep decline in the number of students in Vermont (it’s down 21,000 in the past two decades), the low teacher-pupil ratios and the consequent high per-pupil cost.

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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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Rep. David Sharpe to head education committee

Posted on January 8, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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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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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.

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Opinion: Heath care effort must proceed

Posted on December 16, 2014 |
By Ellen Oxfeld



In the wake of the upcoming legislative session, and anticipation over the release of a financing package for a single-payer health care system in Vermont, many have asked why we need a publicly financed health care system in the first place. They wonder why we passed Act 48 in 2011, and ask if there might not be another why to get to universal health care — such as 100 percent enrollment in private insurance. In short, why do we need a publicly financed plan and why did the Legislature pass Act 48?

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