Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Paul Cillo. I’m the president of Public Assets Institute. We’re a nonpartisan, 501c3 nonprofit located here in Montpelier. We provide state tax, budget, and economic analysis from the perspective of ordinary Vermonters.
I was asked to speak today about how I thought equity has been served since Act 60 was initiated and whether I thought further progress is needed.
First let me say, I am not an expert on education policy. As I mentioned, Public Assets’ work and our expertise is on tax, budget, and economic policy. So my remarks today will focus on fiscal issues with pre-K to 12 public education in Vermont.
The Vermont Supreme Court’s 1997 Brigham decision states that equal educational opportunity “does not allow a system in which educational opportunity is necessarily a function of district wealth.”
It might be helpful to review briefly the history that led to the Supreme Court’s 1997 ruling. State law is often slow to catch up with societal changes. The 20th century change that had a big impact on equitable school funding was the automobile. I’m quoting from the “Citizens Guide to School Funding” that I wrote ten years ago and is available on our website: publicassets.org.
- See more at: http://publicassets.org/blog/testimony-to-house-education-committee-march-17-2016/#sthash.DQABbvj6.dpuf
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