Vermont has traditionally had some of the highest quality educational outcomes in the country.  We should all be proud of that strong tradition, and dedicate ourselves to ensuring it continues.  In order to do so, however, we must work together to put into place sound educational policies and do so at a price we can all afford.

COVID-19 RETURN TO SCHOOL

I have been on numerous Lamoille South Unified Union School Board meetings throughout this pandemic.

Frankly, I don't envy anybody involved in making these decisions for our community/school. Whether it is the teachers and staff on the ground at our schools, or parents and students making their decisions about how to proceed this fall, I feel for all of you.

What has become clear through this entire time is that we have three keys to a successful education system - pandemic or not!

1) A very engaged community of parents and families and their willingness to share their thoughts and concern;  

2) School Board members working incredibly diligently on every aspect of the return; and

3) An extremely dedicated team of teachers and staff at the Stowe Elementary School, Stowe Middle School, and Stowe High School.

As with all things through this pandemic, I know that everybody is feeling a bit anxious as the date for return draws nearer.  But I know that our community stands with all of them as they move forward.

 

FIGHTING FOR LOCAL CONTROL

Since arriving in the Vermont House in 2007, I have been a fierce advocate for local control - both in terms of education finance and budgets, and in terms of education delivery, local decision-making, and the creation of school district policies.

Unfortunately, as the years have passed, the growing trend has been to wrest more and more control from the local districts and voters and put it in the hands of the state.

From decisions about what kind of cleaning products a school must purchase, and purposefully placing communities in the position of having to eliminate educational choice for parents and students, to the state-mandated change to proficiency-based learning, and the forced consolidation of school districts under Act 46, local authority and decision-making by school boards and voters is being replaced by the top-down, one-size fits all, approach to education.

This trend, especially in a state that claims to value local control of education, is a great disappointment, and one I pledge to continue to fight.