This article from True North Reports shares some facts about the changes happening at North Bennington. What happens when there is a commitment to quality, without the regulations imposed on public schools? Note a reduction in teaching staff, an increase in offerings including foreign language, collaboration with local resources, and curriculum flexibility.
This VT Digger article: Stakeholders Reach Compromise Over Independent School Requirements provides a helpful overview of initial discussions at the State House regarding required offerings at indie schools that accept publicly funded students.
Pay close attention to the two things happening. The ideology coming from all sides, which will inform you on why certain positions are being held – and the positions being pushed forward, note the positions people are willing to acquiesce. Battle lines are being drawn.
Your comments are welcome below.
From the Manchester Journal: School Choice Debate Sparks Discussion
Were you there? What are your thoughts on the reasoning each side presented?
Courtesy of local public television. Thank you Rob Roper of EAI for sharing the link of last months' debate filmed on-site at Lyndon Institute.
Public to Private: Could "Conversion" Become a Trend in Vermont Schools?
A step forward has been taken...
Your steadfast support of school choice this legislative session has resulted in the passage of H.771 a bill that will modestly expand public high school choice in Vermont - some would say against fairly heavy odds. Well done!
The voices of parents and educators has made all of the difference in the conversation. You wrote letters, you shared information with friends, family and community members, you testified before the committees by phone or in person, and you made phone calls to the state house to share your support. Your actions made all of the difference.
So what will this bill do for school choice in Vermont? Geographic boundaries are removed, and enrollment rules are a bit broader. Stay tuned for a "translation" of the bill. If you can't wait, check out this PDF, on page 1828 for the language in the bill.
We're hearing from two sources that the conference committee appointed to H.771 is approving the school choice provisions in the bill! More to follow...
I've just been told by a Montpelier contact that the public school choice provisions in H.771 are going to be allowed to die.
I don't know about you, but I find it deeply disturbing that the support of hundreds of parents and educators is being ignored. The language in the bill was carefully crafted to address the concerns of the Vermont Principal's Association, the Vermont Superintendent's Association, and the Vermont School Boards Association.
BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR KIDS? It is up to us to speak for them.
Please call the Sargeant-at-Arms office at 802-828-2228 and leave a "pink slip" or "message" for Representative Donovan saying "I support public school choice."
And if you know anyone in Chittenden County, where Representative Donovan is from, please ask them to do the same. Time is limited, make your calls throughout today and tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be too late.
This is it. The time has arrived to give your final support to the expansion of public school choice. The legislative session is wrapping up, legislators are under pressure to make deals, we need to make sure public school choice makes it through this process.
Please email your Representatives (contact info here) for one FINAL time. Tell them you support the expansion of public school choice as outlined in H.771.
4/25 Legislative Update
It looks like the public school choice bill S.201 might die in the House Education Committee. FORTUNATELY the Senate Education Committee added the school choice language in that bill, to another bill: H.771. This bill has already passed the House and is in the Senate.
We are asking you to please share your support of the school choice provisions in H.771, with JUST YOUR SENATORS, On Wednesday and Thursday. A simple email will do.
Locate contact information for your senators here.
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