This is part of a series examining different views of Act 46 – the law that seeks to trim education spending while increasing equity of opportunity for Vermont kids. Vermont’s new education reform law is intended to provide equity in opportunity for students and make quality education more affordable, in response to growing concerns about property taxes in the state, according to Rep. Scott Beck, a Republican who served his first year on the House Education Committee. It is not intended to force small schools to close, Beck says. “That’s baloney,” according to John Castle, superintendent of schools in the North Country Supervisory Union (NCSU). The belief that consolidating school governance will save money and contain costs is aspirational, rather than being based on reality, Castle said. Greater opportunity for students will still cost money — whether it is spent at the local level or the supervisory union level — so those costs will just be shifted, not saved. And all the while there will be pressure on small schools — which in this area have less impact on the statewide tax rate and write fiscally austere budgets already — to spend less while doing more, else they be penalized. “It can only be intended to close small schools,” Castle said.[…]
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!