Two grassroots groups worth watching:
Campaign for Vermont,a nonpartisan group advocating for the creation of larger, local education districts in order to control costs and raise educational outcomes. Their white paper, Putting Children First, outlines standardized test scores from Vermont and proposes a number of administrative shifts.
Vermont Save Our Summer Coalition: a group established in response to the Champlain Valley Regional Superintendents’ proposal to shift the school calendar days to create more and longer breaks during the school year. Save Our Summer was a leading voice in opposition to this change. Lack of community support led the superintendents to withdraw their proposal, although the superintendents have said that they wish to continue the conversation about how time plays a role in student learning.
School Budgets, 2014
On Town Meeting Day, 24 cities or towns—including Burlington, Vermont’s largest city—failed to pass school budgets. Changes in state funding created large tax increases at the local level, and voters in many places said no. (An example: the Burlington school budget that failed had asked for a nearly 10% increase in spending over last year, only 3% of which was attributable to choices made by the local board. The remaining 7% were driven by state actions.) In 2003, Vermont, changed its school funding to equalize spending across the state, and there is now pressure to repeal those reform acts. Changes to Act 60 and Act 68 are currently proposed by some lawmakers (one proposal would create larger districts; the other would change allocations for per-pupil spending).