Providing a good public education for our children is one of the most important things we, as a society, can do for our next generation. Good schools do not just prepare our children for the future, they also promote thriving communities and foster economic development.
As the next installment of Spotlight on Vermont’s Kids, Voices is featuring our issue brief, “Asking the Right Questions About Vermont Schools,” that follows the evolution of public school funding in Vermont since Act 60, explains the importance of local school board decision-making, looks at both sides of the school budget equation – spending and costs, and offers recommendations to meet some of the challenges our schools face.
As Vermonters, we have a lot to be proud of in our school system. Our schools have achieved a series of high marks in national measures, including standardized testing scores, SAT test scores, teacher ratings, and music and art awards. Our citizens serve on school boards for little or no pay. Our funding system is designed to make sure that all our children, across the state, have equal access to quality educational opportunities.
To continue doing the job of educating Vermont’s children, we need to address the issues that are putting pressure on our schools: health insurance costs, fuel costs, and the cost of services (which include health, special education, and counseling); federal mandates; obstacles to passing thoughtfully-composed budgets. We need to ask the right questions.
Children — 22% of our population, 100% of our future