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A Yale grad from Newport studied Vermont’s school mergers. She found they don’t save much.
06-09-2024 4:00 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

While studying economics and education at Yale University, Grace Miller found a surprise topic on the agenda: Vermont’s one-of-a-kind school funding formula. The 22-year-old from Newport and her classmates learned about the “Brigham decision,” a 1997...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 28 total.
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Prospects dim for property tax compromise after sour meeting between administration and lawmakers
06-13-2024 3:12 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

Negotiations between Gov. Phil Scott’s administration and legislative leadership soured after a Wednesday afternoon meeting to discuss the executive branch’s property tax and education finance proposal. The meeting and subsequent fallout followed...


Vermont’s Scott vetoes property tax bill, unsettling next year’s school funding
06-07-2024 11:54 AM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the annual property tax bill on Thursday, setting up a veto session showdown on a piece of legislation that must pass for schools to be funded as normal. “We must provide property tax relief now. This can’t wait for another...


Senate’s education funding bill makes dent in tax increase but kicks the can on big change
05-12-2024 4:32 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The Senate’s version of the annual education funding bill, passed Wednesday night, would make a dent in Vermonters’ looming property tax increases but stopped short of changing the system. By and large, the bill punts tough questions about how to...


After Vermont Senate rejects Zoie Saunders, Phil Scott names her interim education secretary
04-30-2024 12:15 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

After a lengthy and dramatic debate Tuesday morning, the Vermont Senate voted against the confirmation of Zoie Saunders as state education secretary — but the fight over her appointment appeared far from finished.Saunders needed a majority of the...


In divided decision, Senate committee votes to recommend Zoie Saunders as education secretary
04-25-2024 4:31 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The Senate Education Committee voted 3-2 on Wednesday to favorably recommend Zoie Saunders as the next education secretary.The Senate is expected to vote on Saunders’ confirmation next week. She needs the support of a majority of the 30-member body,...


With weeks to go, could lawmakers radically reimagine Vermont’s education finance system?
04-11-2024 3:45 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The Vermont House’s tax-writing committee rolled out a preliminary proposal this week that would radically reimagine education finance in the state. The plan, written into the annual bill that helps set tax rates statewide, would provide school...


Former student settles with Twin Valley School District over alleged racist bullying
03-24-2024 9:13 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

A former student, who is Black, has settled a complaint with Twin Valley School District alleging that officials didn’t do enough to address racist bullying she faced at the district’s middle and high school, according to the ACLU of Vermont, which...


Since 2021, Vermont’s religious schools have received an increasing amount of public education money
03-13-2024 5:30 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

In 2021, court rulings gradually opened the door for religious schools to receive money through Vermont’s school tuitioning program, which allows students in districts without a designated public option to attend the school of their choice. Then, a...


Stripping back local control of school budgets? Phil Scott says it is on the table.
03-10-2024 8:00 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott thinks it might be time to wrest some school spending control away from the local level.“That’s not going to be popular. My just saying that probably isn’t popular, but I think it has to be on the table,” Scott said at his...


Vermonters reject nearly 1 in 3 school budgets on Town Meeting Day
03-07-2024 7:47 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

Voters struck down close to a third of school budgets across Vermont on Tuesday, the highest proportion in at least a decade, according to the Vermont Superintendents Association. Twenty-nine of 93 reported budgets were rejected, according to...


Vermont education spending ticks down as state gets affirmation of what’s driving costs
02-29-2024 1:59 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The latest data from the Vermont Agency of Education shows a small decrease in projected education spending and affirms previously anecdotal evidence on the major factors causing a projected increase in education property taxes.Health care costs,...


Vermonter incarcerated at Mississippi private prison dies
02-27-2024 5:30 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

An incarcerated individual imprisoned through Vermont’s private prison contract at Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Mississippi died on Monday, according to the Vermont Department of Corrections. Alfred Brochu, 71, “was found unresponsive”...


Lawmakers consider pushing back school budget votes as they rethink property tax cap
02-07-2024 12:05 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

Lawmakers are now talking about replacing a controversial cap on homestead property tax rates with a new tax “discount” that would apply only to districts losing tax capacity.“Five percent cap is over,” Rep. Emilie Kornheiser, chair of the House Ways...


High school leaders, district settle lawsuit alleging they mishandled bullying after rape allegation
02-05-2024 4:30 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

A lawsuit alleging Green Mountain Union School District and some of its administrators failed to protect five sisters from harassment after one of them was raped has been settled for $300,000, according to the sisters’ lawyer.In 2017, Skylar White, a...


As new data shows property taxes could rise even higher than expected, legislators mull their options
02-04-2024 7:45 AM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

A new estimate puts the projected average property tax bill increase next year at more than 20%. In response, the House tax committee is considering its options, including changing a controversial cap on local property tax rate increases.Summarizing...


Owner of prominent White River Junction buildings floats plans for their future
01-31-2024 7:35 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

David Briggs, who owns two large buildings that are at the heart of downtown White River Junction, is starting to talk publicly about an “exit plan.” Last week, Briggs presented a mockup to the Hartford Selectboard of his vision for the Coolidge...


Defender general’s investigation finds medical staff failures, ‘boy who cried wolf’ culture in Springfield prison death case
01-29-2024 9:00 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The Defender General’s Office’s investigation into the death of David Mitchell, who died in the Springfield, Vt., prison last April, revealed that medical staff did not recognize the seriousness of his condition in the months before his death and did...


‘Unintended consequences’: Concern mounts in Montpelier about the newest changes to education finance
01-23-2024 2:08 AM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

In a letter directed toward school boards and superintendents on Friday, two leaders of legislative tax committees warned of the “unintended consequences” of the state’s newest education finance law, which, they suggested, could have districts trying...


Scott proposes PCB testing slowdown as Vermont schools struggle to keep up
01-16-2024 1:17 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

Two weeks before this school year, testing discovered elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, the carcinogens known as PCBs, at Bellows Falls Union High School. Since then, Andrew Haas, superintendent of the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union,...


Norwich University president out, calls decision ‘mutual’
01-08-2024 5:21 PM

By ETHAN WEINSTEIN

The president of Norwich University said he is departing the military school after more than three years on the job.Mark Anarumo told VtDigger on Friday that he was leaving by “mutual” decision. Provost and Dean of the Faculty Karen Gaines will serve...

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