VTDigger publishes a wide range of stories about Vermont’s educational system from early childhood education issues to public and private K-12 schools to higher education. Our education reporter is Tiffany Pache. She can be reached at [email protected]
The average teacher salary in Burlington is $71,624. With benefits, the average compensation package is worth about $100,000, according to Porter.
Since 2008, the Agency of Education has shed 43 positions while seeing sweeping reforms that it must help put into action. The education secretary, though, has defended her boss’s plan not to add positions.
Katie Sherman argued that school officials violated her rights as she was trying to hold them accountable for meeting her son’s special needs. The Barre Supervisory Union superintendent says it was all about keeping students safe.
A report funded by Act 46 points to special education and staff-to-student ratios as the biggest cost drivers. It says the state could save $164 million a year by changing its educational model.
The ‘tweak’ gives districts more leeway this year and, as proposed by the Senate, removes the cost containment provision altogether in fiscal year 2018.
The Senate has proposed adding a safe harbor for school districts that spend less than the 2016 average per pupil cost. They also changed the penalty from 25 cents to 40 cents on each additional dollar spent.
The House rebuffed a Senate bill that would have repealed the spending thresholds. It also blocked a GOP plan to leave untouched the caps passed last year.
The amendment, passed by a 94-to-52 vote, gives schools more room to budget for unanticipated costs.
The Vermont State Colleges system is dealing with some of the same pressures as the public school system, including declining enrollment and a rise in health care costs. But its public funding has stayed steady for years.
Dame’s measure would direct the Agency of Education to use whichever per pupil spending threshold – with or without exclusions – most benefits a school district when calculating per pupil spending. It was one of the few amendments to the Senate’s repeal bill that all members of the House Ed panel agreed to.
The Senate, on the other hand, decisively voted to repeal the controversial caps. The House Committee on Education will continue to work on the issue Thursday.
One of the votes was to combine districts in Elmore and Morrisville. The other involves the eight towns of Rutland Northeast. Meanwhile, plans for further mergers get the state board’s stamp of approval.
Brattleboro Union High School board member Shaun Murphy says that school districts are going to be involved in redistricting so he would like to see taxpayers make out from the deal.
Senators voted unanimously to repeal a controversial portion of an education law that penalized communities for spending more than allowed. Meanwhile, the House sent the question back to its Education Committee.
Brattleboro would see 25 percent increase in school taxes ahead.