Testifying for kids and taxpayers at the March 11th Hearing on Vermont Pupil Weights

The Senate Committee on Education will hold a public hearing on the Study of Pupil Weights in Vermont’s Education Funding Formula. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room 11 of the State House in Montpelier.

Seating is limited. Witnesses may begin signing up to speak at 3:30 p.m., just prior to the hearing. Witness testimony is limited to two minutes per person. The committee will also accept written testimony at testimony@leg.state.vt.us. Please indicate Pupil Weighting Study in the subject line.

Testimony is most helpful when it references your specific situation as an educational professional, student, parent of a student or taxpayer and when it calls for specific remedy.

If you plan to attend and need accommodations to participate, please contact the Sergeant at Arms at 802-828-2228 by March 4, 2020, so they can make arrangements in advance. It’s also a great idea to let your Representatives and Senators know you will be testifying

PRESS ADVISORY: Press Conference Demanding Action on 2019 Pupil Weighting Factors Report

Legislators and Vermonters coming to to testify at the Senate Education Hearing on the Weights are invited to stand with our students and taxpayers.

When: Wednesday March 11, 2020
Where: Cedar Creek Room 2:30 PM
What: Representatives of the NEK, SoVermont and Chittenden County education and taxpayer community will discuss consequences of underfunding poor, rural and ELL school districts and over funding wealthy large school districts. and call on Legislature to act on recommendation in the 2019 Pupil Weighting Factors Report in this session
For more information: contact Rep. Laura Sibilia at lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us or Katherine Sims at katherine.sims@gmail.com

More on the Weighting Study

On December 24, 2020, a completed Pupil Weighting Factors Report was sent to the House and Senate Committees on Education, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance. This report was prepared by educational researchers from the University of Vermont, Rutgers University, American Institutes for Research and American Institutes for Research Constitutional.

The researchers found little empirical evidence for Vermont’s existing weights and recommended dramatic increases in weights for students in poverty and ELL and new weights for middle school students, students in small schools and weights on the basis of population density (rurality).

The report findings indicate that, since Act 60, Vermont has denied rural and poor students access to equitable financial resources and we have financially penalized districts that have tried to spend the resources to meet their poor and rural students needs. At the same time, we incentivized larger wealthier districts to spend more on purchasing student opportunity – without tax penalty – for twenty years.

Read more at:

My latest OpEd on the 20 year injustice Just. Not Complicated.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us 

Kind regards, 

Rep. Laura Sibilia 
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham

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