On April 17, 2024
Letters

Act 127 was overdue and is good law

Dear Editor,

Vermont stands as a beacon of community values. Yet, beneath this facade, our education system has harbored inequities for decades that undermine these very principles. Enter Act 127 — a legislative commitment to Vermont’s constitutional guarantee for equity, opportunity and fairness for every child in our state.

For decades, Vermont’s education funding system, while well-intentioned, has inadvertently perpetuated inequities across our diverse landscapes. Rural, impoverished and diverse districts have borne the brunt of this outdated model, struggling to provide the same level of education as their more affluent counterparts. This isn’t just a funding issue, it’s a matter of the constitutional guarantee Vermont makes to our children about the value of their education.

Act 127, informed by comprehensive research and community advocacy, introduces a more equitable approach to school funding. By revising the weighting factors that determine financial allocations, it ensures that additional resources are directed where they’re most needed — to the students facing the greatest challenges and to the schools that serve as their lifelines.

Some may question the timing or specifics of Act 127, especially in a period marked by financial uncertainty and social challenges. However, it is precisely during such times that our commitment to equity and justice must be strongest. Act 127 isn’t just a piece of legislation, it’s a declaration of our collective values, a testament to our belief in the transformative power of education.

As we navigate the implementation of Act 127, the Coalition for Vermont Student Equity (CVTSE) calls upon educators, policymakers and community members to engage with this process actively. This isn’t a time for complacency but for vigorous advocacy and thoughtful dialogue. We must work together to ensure that the promise of Act 127 becomes a reality for every student in Vermont. Addressing these issues is integral to the overall goal of educational equity.

Marc B. Schauber, West Dover, is the executive director for the Coalition for Vermont Student Equity.

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