One of the most astonishing facts about the State of Vermont’s 1.6 billion dollars investment in statewide education is that nowhere at the state level are we collecting information on what opportunities that buys for Vermont’s students.
We have a governance system that values local control, and budgets that are voted on locally, but the actual bills are paid for by all of us – businesses, second homeowners and residents – across the state.
We have no evidence that educational opportunity has been substantially equalized, as required by the Brigham decision, and that is because we do not collect data on what we are buying with the 1.6 billion dollars.
Every year there is legislative action to attempt cut education spending. This is a laudable goal. But if policy makers don’t collect information on what educational opportunity we are buying, how can they expect to make thoughtful decisions about what to cut?
I’ve worked with many other town and school officials, met with many legislators, testified at many public and committee hearings asking over and over – where is the data on what we are buying? I’ve worked with the public bodies and the voters in my town to hire a lobbyist to ask that question every day at the statehouse.
And then surprise! The House Appropriations Committee passes this
Sec. E.500.1 UNIFORM CHART OF ACCOUNTS COMPLETION, TRANSITION, TRAINING AND SUPPORT