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Opinion: School finance reform needed

Posted on January 28, 2015 |
By George Jaeger



Max Kraus’ excellent letter in the Jan. 15 Addison Independent goes to the heart of the matter. It’s not just that school taxes are high and rising — even as student populations decline — but that the system is hugely inefficient and produces at best average results.

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End of Small School Grants would hit home

Posted on January 26, 2015 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



ADDISON COUNTY — As lawmakers wrestle with education funding reform this winter, one idea that has gained some favor in Montpelier is ending “Small School Grants,” extra funding to smaller schools that helps them keep their doors open. Gov. Peter Shumlin, for one, made that recommendation in his Jan. 15 budget address.

In recent years the Legislature has tried to address what lawmakers see as cost inefficiencies in smaller schools by passing laws to encourage unification within and between school districts.

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Rep. David Sharpe to head education committee

Posted on January 8, 2015 |
By John Flowers



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BRISTOL — Addison County will have an important seat at the table when the Vermont Legislature gets to work this month on education finance reform, tabbed by many lawmakers as the top priority for the 2015 session.

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith has picked Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, to chair the House Education Committee, a panel that will clearly play a big role in devising and advancing any bills aimed at changing the manner in which the state’s public schools are financed.

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Top stories of 2014: #8 — School budgets go down as call for tax reform grows

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By Addison Independent



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As in many past years, 2014 saw many Vermonters complain about their property taxes, and that portion of the tax that pays for education in particular. But as in most years, proposals for reform of school funding were put forward but not acted upon.

Still, residents in seven local towns indicated that they had had enough, and they rejected some proposed school spending plans on Town Meeting Day.

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Guest editorial: Vt. needs to fix school funding; start by changing governance

Posted on January 5, 2015 |
By Emerson Lynn



Speaker of the House Shap Smith has spent the past couple of weeks asking Vermonters for their ideas on how the state can reduce property taxes and still maintain a high quality educational system.

He should be careful for what he asks.

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Opinion: Heath care effort must proceed

Posted on December 16, 2014 |
By Ellen Oxfeld



In the wake of the upcoming legislative session, and anticipation over the release of a financing package for a single-payer health care system in Vermont, many have asked why we need a publicly financed health care system in the first place. They wonder why we passed Act 48 in 2011, and ask if there might not be another why to get to universal health care — such as 100 percent enrollment in private insurance. In short, why do we need a publicly financed plan and why did the Legislature pass Act 48?

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Community Forum: Catholic Church in need of reform

Posted on August 27, 2014 |
By Nicholas Clifford



This week’s writer is Middlebury resident Nicholas Clifford, who is a former professor of history and provost at Middlebury College.

A couple of years ago, the Pew Research Center told us that Vermont was the second most secular state in the Union. But, at least according to The Economist, Vermont also boasts the second highest rate in the Union of sightings of flying saucers.

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Opinion: Scott wrong on election funding

Posted on June 18, 2014 |
By Spencer Putnam



Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has been quoted as saying that he does not wish to use public financing for his campaign because he does not want to take money from people who do not support him. This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of public financing of political activities.

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Andy Kirkaldy: Time for changes to Vermont high school playoffs

Posted on June 11, 2014 |
By Andy Kirkaldy



On June 3, the No. 10 seeded North Country Union High School baseball team, owner of an 8-8 record, made a 340-mile, five-and-a-half-hour round trip to face No. 7 Brattleboro, a 10-6 team, in the first round of the Division I playoffs. The Falcons predictably lost to the Colonels, 9-1.

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Legislative forum to tackle elder issues

Posted on October 21, 2013 |
By Addison Independent



MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Retired Teachers Association (ACRTA), the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) and the Lodge at Otter Creek will host an Addison County legislative forum on elder issues on Monday, Oct. 28, from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury.

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