For 20 years, we’ve been serving, on average, three fewer students every day. Our student-to-staff ratio has decreased from about seven kids for every one adult to four to one. And, property tax rates have increased almost every year. These trends will continue, unless we act to reverse them.
Why is the discussion always about the education establishment’s public vs. private schools, and the legislators and special interest groups who enable them?
The Department of Education’s (DOE) May 2018 report indicates that 6.7 million children between the ages of three and 21 receive special education services as of 2016. The increase marks a rise in special education services by 100,000 from the previous year.
Paul Normandeau, of Dummerston, said the proposed plan shows “a complete lack of respect” for voters in the four towns “who overwhelmingly voted against merging along with the many other towns that rejected [a] merger.”
“I don’t think the state has a clue what is best for the children and residents of Windham when it comes to education,” he told the Reformer. “To think we will have one representative on an 11-person board is a joke.”
Here’s a proposal to rein in costs, reinstate some measure of local control and inject accountability into the process: Have the Legislature set a uniform per-pupil spending level, but allow local school boards full rein over how to best spend the money, free from state-level interference.
A long-awaited report from Vermont’s education secretary recommends the merger of the Bennington Incorporated District, the Pownal Elementary District, the Shaftsbury Elementary District and the Woodford Elementary District into a single union elementary school district.
The single unified union school district would educate pre-k-12 students and include the current governance structures of the Brattleboro Union High School District, Brattleboro School District, Dummerston School District, Guilford School District and Putney School District.
The ruling elite of all parties in Vermont have doubled down on this approach with the coercive and tyrannical Act 46. The political promises of reduced costs, lower taxes, equality of education and increased opportunities were false. The exact opposite result is happening. The next phase of Act 46 will be Gov. Scott’s school closing commission. This for me is unacceptable.
The Agency of Education has recommended 18 consolidations for school districts that haven’t yet merged in accordance with Act 46. But of 43 districts or groups of districts that filed “Section 9” proposals for alternative governance structures, 22 shouldn’t have to merge, according to a report released Friday.
While the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program might not be having an immediate positive effect on the standardized test scores prized by researchers and policy bean counters, it is having a potentially more meaningful, long-term impact on participants’ academic attainment and future life outcomes.