Analyze costs and cost-drivers first

Governor Douglas, Speaker Symington, and President pro tempore Shumlin: We commend you for recognizing the need to lend focus and structure to the whirlwind of activity surrounding the search for effective education funding and property tax reform. In addition, we applaud your commitment to bipartisanship and self-stated goal of creating \"meaningful legislation in 2007/2008.\" While there are no doubt a number of ideas worthy of exploration in your \"Douglas Symington Shumlin Framework for Containing Property Tax Increases\", we urge you in the strongest possible way to complete one particular item before committing to action on the others. Item 5 in the Framework is a commitment to \"understand the major costs and cost drivers in public schools and discuss ways the state can alleviate cost pressures or assist schools to address them effectively.\" We think this effort must be the first step, must be done thoroughly, and must be done quickly. It is clear from the dialog going on throughout the state that there are many different theories about what\'s driving costs, yet the theories are often conflicting and examination of available data often calls into question the claims. We have yet to see a comprehensive, objective analysis of costs and cost drivers at a level of detail necessary to support decision making. We believe strongly that until one is done, most efforts to \"fix\" things amount to a \"shot in the dark\" that may relieve some specific symptoms but will likely (a) not address root issues and (b) have unintended and undesirable consequences. Respectfully, Vermont School Board members

Sponsor

This message was originally delivered as a letter signed by the full membership of the school boards of the Towns of Grafton and Athens as well as the full membership of the selectboard of the Town of Grafton.

Discussion

No comments yet.

join the discussion

Recent signatures

  • username

    JEFFREY B. TERRY, United States

    7 years ago Affiliation: DEM
    Comments: Education funding is important and a extremely good way to help make our country strong. Thanks to funding provided I'm now in a literacy program so that when I can attend community collage. My proficiency level will be up, this way I will get the most out of my collage experience. It is vital that this funding continue.
  • username

    andre e roy, United States

    8 years ago Affiliation: westford school board
    Comments: I beleive that the issue of rising school budgets continues to be a serious issue and needs to be addressed. I am in particular frustrated with the level that the budgets continue to rise in the face of declining enrollments. I understand that the cost of providing education will to some degree be higher due to inflationary reasons but however the increases that I have seen are beyond this understanding. I don't forsee that the consalidation of school districts into one district will result in significant decreases or any decreases at all. I beleive that the heart of the matter is to understand the basis for the costs that are attributing to the increases and once these are indentified and understood, then the increases could be addressed. One item that generally contributes to a substantial part of any districts budget is the salary expenses. These vary from district to district. One aspect or approach to this would be to have a "state-wide" teacher's contract, that would at lease provide for some releif from this variable in the different school district budgets.
  • username

    andre e roy, United States

    8 years ago Affiliation: westford school board
    Comments: I beleive that the issue of rising school budgets continues to be a serious issue and needs to be addressed. I am in particular frustrated with the level that the budgets continue to rise in the face of declining enrollments. I understand that the cost of providing education will to some degree be higher due to inflationary reasons but however the increases that I have seen are beyond this understanding. I don't forsee that the consalidation of school districts into one district will result in significant decreases or any decreases at all. I beleive that the heart of the matter is to understand the basis for the costs that are attributing to the increases and once these are indentified and understood, then the increases could be addressed. One item that generally contributes to a substantial part of any districts budget is the salary expenses. These vary from district to district. One aspect or approach to this would be to have a "state-wide" teacher's contract, that would at lease provide for some releif from this variable in the different school district budgets.
See more

Petition highlights

There are no highlights yet.