Recent Posts

Guns, school governance and tax refund halt – Capitol Beat, Feb. 9, 2015


Vermont Press Bureau chief Neal Goswami and VPB reporter Josh O’Gorman discuss a public hearing coming up on Tuesday about gun legislation, a House Education Committee bill to reform school governance and why the state has temporarily halted issued tax refunds. Continue Reading →

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Authors of consolidation study respond to criticism

Daniella Hall and Ian Burfoot-Rochford, authors of a study that asserts the consolidation of schools and school districts will not save money or result in better educational outcomes for students, have offered a reply to criticism from the Agency of Education that the study is flawed. Below is their response in its entirety. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to the rebuttal that was recently sent out by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). We appreciate the rebuttal, as we believe it adds to Vermont’s understanding and discussion of educational reform initiatives. Our goal in writing this brief was to contribute to the debate, as well as support communities and legislators as they evaluate the cost-benefits of consolidation. Continue Reading →

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Republicans react to budget address

MONTPELIER – Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin’s budget address Thursday drew both praise and criticism from lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. Republican legislators praised initiatives that they claimed to be their own, while continuing to hammer Shumlin on the budget and the nearly $100 million shortfall. Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, took issue with raising the payroll tax as a method to leverage more money for Medicaid. “We’re in a really tough budget year. Everybody knows that, so when you hear a budget that is still relying on federal money, is still relying on another tax, that becomes problematic to me,” Benning said. Continue Reading →

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Education discussion commences

MONTPELIER — Let the education discussion begin. A standing-room-only crowd packed the House Education Committee Room and spilled out into the hallway Wednesday morning for the first day of what will be a session-long debate on what to do about rising property taxes and education costs. “You’re welcome to contact the House Speaker’s Office and request a bigger room,” joked Chairman David Sharpe, D-Bristol, whose committee took testimony from groups representing school boards, superintendents and teachers. Jeff Francis, executive director of the Vermont Superintendents Association, offered testimony that laid out the challenges currently faced in education in Vermont. “You need to be pragmatic and visionary,” said Francis, who recalled the state-wide discussions surrounding the implementation of the current education funding system in 1997. Continue Reading →

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