Senate Bill 229 is legislation that would expand special education requirements for independent schools that wish to accept students under Vermont’s school choice system.
Students in the school choice program utilize their tax-based public tuition dollars to pay for enrollment at an independent school. School choice is a great system that offers students the flexibility to enroll in academic programs that complement the public school system.
In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Sharon Academy Head of School Michael Livingston to discuss some of the challenges facing Vermont’s independent schools, including S.229.
On the surface, S.229 appears to be a benevolent bill. However, there are negative real-world impacts of implementing special education requirements in schools that are simply too small to handle it. One of the biggest concerns involves staffing requirements — simply put, the employee pool to meet the proposed requirements does not exist. Moreover, the state and federal paperwork required to accommodate special education students is overwhelming for small schools.
Watch full episode: