Hilary Niles

Hilary Niles

Hilary Niles joined VTDigger in June 2013 as data specialist and business reporter. She returns to New England from the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, where she completed her master's coursework. While there, she worked at Investigative Reporters & Editors and covered state and local government for radio, print and the Web. She’s been a researcher-in-residence at American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington, D.C.; a reporter and community radio program director in the New Hampshire; and, in Boston, a public radio producer. She studied English at the University of New Hampshire and documentary writing at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @nilesmedia

Homepage: http://www.vtdigger.org

    Storify: Education funding ideas rev up VTDigger tweetchat

    20120118_twitter

    The idea of a single, statewide teachers’ contract sparked debate amid talk of income sensitivity for property taxes and the right size classroom for quality education. Join us Monday for the next VTDigger tweetchat using #vtdchat

    Data visualization: Personal income receipts fall short again

    Revenue

    General Fund shortfall grows to $18 million this fiscal year as personal income collections fall short of projections for the eighth month in a row. Administration says trend makes budget cuts all the more urgent.

    Administration backs away from unilateral budget cuts

    House Appropriations Chairwoman Martha Heath, left, and Mitzi Johnson, D-Grand Isle-Chittenden, take notes during Tuesday's hearings. Photo by Josh Larkin.

    The Shumlin administration has decided to avoid a confrontation with lawmakers over its authority to make additional budget cuts without gaining legislative approval. The cuts will instead be proposed through the budget adjustment process in January.

    St. Michael’s adjunct faculty vote to join SEIU

    Adjunct faculty at St. Michael’s College in Colchester voted 46 to 26 Monday to unionize with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They join colleagues from Burlington and Champlain colleges, where a majority of adjunct professors voted on Nov. 24 to join SEIU. The national union’s Adjunct Action initiative aims to organize part-time faculty at […]

    VTC to lay off eight full-time faculty, 27 adjuncts may not be hired back next fall

    Dan Smith, President of Vermont Technical College, said the school is committed to working with the state on a state laboratory proposed for the campus. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

    Vermont Technical College notified eight full-time professors they may be laid off at the end of July. The single digit number belies major structural and programmatic changes as more than two dozen adjunct professors may be forced out, too.

    Universal pre-K delayed one year

    Gov. Peter Shumlin outlines a new pre-K education plan at Heartworks Preschool in Williston on Wednesday. At right is Reeve Murphy, deputy commissioner of the Department of Children and Families. Photo by Alicia Freese/VTDigger

    The 10-hour-per-week mandate for early childhood care is being pushed back to the 2016-17 school year, the Agency of Education announced Wednesday. The timelines in Act 166 didn’t match up with school budget votes, officials say.

    Shumlin orders another $17 million in budget cuts

    Gov. Peter Shumlin and Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding announced a reduction in revenue forecasts for fiscal year 2015 at a news conference Thursday, July 24. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

    State agencies were directed Wednesday to find $17 million in savings during the current fiscal year, on top of $31 million in earlier cuts. Legislators challenge administration’s authority to do so.

    J.C. Penney and Stonebridge to pay $400,000 for improper charges

    A “discount membership” program affiliated with J.C. Penney Co. will pay the state and Vermont consumers $400,000 to settle claims the company improperly charged consumers for services they didn’t know they had signed up for. Texas-based Stonebridge Benefit Services Inc. sells discount membership programs through which consumers can claim discounts on various purchases, from cars […]

    Public comment on statewide education plan closes Dec. 4  

    A statewide strategic education plan is open for public comment until Dec. 4. The five-year plan describes how Vermont will help school boards improve student performance. A draft version was adopted by the State Board of Education at its Nov. 19 meeting. Since starting the process at a June 2014 retreat, the Board has discussed […]

    Pending VTC layoffs announced

    Dan Smith, President of Vermont Technical College, said the school is committed to working with the state on a state laboratory proposed for the campus. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

    Layoffs next summer could prompt program closures, Vermont Technical College president Dan Smith told faculty. Some call the Randolph school’s financial woes a “canary in the coal mine” for the entire Vermont State College system.

    Adjunct faculty at Burlington, Champlain colleges vote to unionize

    Adjunct professors at Burlington and Champlain colleges voted by wide margins on Monday to join Service Employees International Union. Their counterparts at Saint Michael’s College are expected to vote Dec. 1. Burlington College’s adjunct faculty voted 23 to 4 to unionize. The tally for Champlain College was 118 to 30. They were organized by the […]

    Weinberger wants speedy public process on $200M mall renovation

    An artist's rendering shows a view of Cherry Street promenade looking west from the new L.L. Bean store and transit center area. Courtesy image.

    The mayor expects a green light by mid-December to enter a development agreement with Burlington Town Center owner Don Sinex. Weinberger said tax credits likely will be pursued to fund the city’s investment in the public-private partnership.

    Vermont unemployment steady at 4.4 percent

    Vermont’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.4 percent in October, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Labor. The leveling follows four consecutive months of increases in the seasonally adjusted jobless rate. The U.S. average unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a point to 5.8 percent. Nationwide, Vermont tied with Kansas for […]

    New portal to provide broad access to public data in Vermont

    VT insights

    Public data abounds in modern times, but most is difficult to access or analyze. A new online portal, Vermont Insights, is meant to provide free and useful access to a trove of public data.

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