The Ethan Allen Institute (EAI) and the Public Assets Institute (PAI) will face off this winter in a series of three debates on the proper role of government in education. Lyndon State College will host the opening debate Friday, December 13, 2013, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Burke Mountain Room on the fourth floor of the Samuel Read Hall Library.
The majority of Vermont communities operate public schools. However, in 93 towns—a little more than a third—residents have chosen not to operate their own schools but instead pay tuition to allow students to go to any school of their choosing—private or public. “School choice” advocates see this 150-year-old practice of allowing communities to tuition their students as a model for the country. Supporters of the public education system maintain that local schools provide the foundation to our communities and our democracy.
These points of view will be debated by representatives of two of Vermont’s leading think tanks. Ethan Allen Institute president Rob Roper and Tim Thompson of the Riverside School in Lyndonville will argue the case for free market solutions to providing education. Public Assets president Paul Cillo and Bill Mathis of the National Education Policy Center will make the case for the public school system.
The first debate will be moderated by Todd Wellington of the Caledonian-Record.
Two more debates will take place in January and February in Manchester and Montpelier respectively. Details to be forthcoming. These debates, made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, are free and open to the public.