Under Beck’s plan, teacher health care would be moved to the state level. Any agreements made by the union and the governor would be ratified by a statewide vote of the teachers, administrators and town school employees.
If the bill passes as is, the commercial property tax rate will go up by 3 cents this year.
The state board entered “a game of chicken with the Legislature.”
His proposal “goes hand in hand” with the budget bill, he said, although Senate leaders responded that the idea came too late.
Some had argued the standards for districts that couldn’t or didn’t want to merge were more stringent than the rules for those that were uniting under the law.
The panel accommodated requests from more than 30 House members to add more language from H.15, a bill once described as offering so much flexibility as to gut the intent of Act 46.
The plan is the state’s response to the Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind.
Anti-merger advocates in South Royalton suggested that residents would lose their school if they voted for the district consolidation plan.
The House Education panel rejected the latest attempt to change who is responsible for overseeing the state credentials of speech language pathologists who work in the schools.
The property tax implications of transferring money out of the education fund generated some criticism. The bill also aims to iron out issues with implementing universal preschool.
Bright spots include health care access, standardized test scores and a relatively low child poverty rate. But some metrics are moving in the wrong direction.
The bill would have allowed greater flexibility to respond to Act 46. The panel voted it down 9-2 after a brief revival.
Some said Act 46 had caused deep divisions in their communities and implored lawmakers to trust local people instead of pushing another top-down approach.
The Burlington School Board and the teachers union will be entering into mediation next week. The current contract ends in July. The mediation will take place on April 12. The two sides declared impasse on March 17 when they couldn’t come to an agreement on health care, salaries and operational changes, according to the school […]