Local News

Speaker’s plea for education reform ideas nets 87 responses

By Amy Ash Nixon, VTDigger.org

Speaker of the House Shap Smith’s public request for ideas on education governance and finance reform drew 87 proposals, which are now available online.

Smith asked Vermonters to submit ideas on the public education debate now playing out at the State House by New Year’s Eve.

“The proposals had a wide range of ideas, some of them workable, some of them not,” Smith said Monday. “But I thought there were some really interesting thoughts there, moving health insurance costs out of the Education Fund, ways to address student-staff ratios, and ideas around special education costs.”

Smith has made finding solutions to rising property taxes and decreasing student populations a priority for lawmakers this session. The trend expected to continue through at least 2030.

Last week, the House Education Committee started work on a draft bill that would seek to form larger regional education districts, combining smaller districts into larger units in place of having nearly 300 distinct districts, which are now joined only at the supervisory level.

Read the submissions at https://goo.gl/KjkPLN.

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