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Legislative Review: H.361 strengthens school system

Posted on April 8, 2015 |
By Rep. David Sharpe D-Bristol



Do we have small schools and small school districts or tiny schools and tiny school districts?

Will expanding the size of school districts and getting rid of supervisory unions increase or decrease democracy?

Can we embrace a new sense of our local community?

Does H.361 get rid of local school boards?

These are all questions related to the legislature’s initiative to change governance in our PreK-12 school system in Vermont contained in H.361 as passed by the Vermont House last week.

full story

Farmers debate their role in Lake Champlain cleanup

Posted on April 2, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



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BRIDPORT — A bill before the Legislature that aims to clean up Lake Champlain was the hot topic of a Monday legislative luncheon that focused on agricultural issues.

Two members of the House of Representatives, Democrat David Sharpe of Bristol and Republican Harvey Smith of New Haven, were on hand at the Bridport Community Hall to hear residents’ concerns about the bill and other farming topics.

The bill, H.35, would limit municipal, commercial and agricultural sources of pollution into the Lake Champlain watershed.

full story

State budget cuts continue to shape legislative session

Posted on March 12, 2015 |
By John Flowers



 

MIDDLEBURY — School financing and the state’s budget woes continued to dominate conversation at the Bridport Grange’s legislative breakfast series, the most recent edition of which was held on Monday at the Middlebury American Legion headquarters.

Lawmakers have been told there is a $118 million revenue shortfall for the state budget that is to take effect July 1. The Legislature’s money committees are considering cuts to the current budget draft, along with some possible fee and tax increases.

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Rep. Sharpe pushes change in education through H.361

Posted on March 9, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



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ADDISON COUNTY — Rep. David Sharpe doesn’t give off the aura of a salesman. His elbow-patched blazers may echo Willy Loman, but the soft-spoken, veteran legislator isn’t in the business of sweet-talking his way to a few bucks.

But however unnatural it may come to him, selling was exactly what Sharpe set out to do at town meetings in his district this week. It’s not goods the Bristol Democrat is hawking, but an education bill that would drastically change the organization of Vermont’s schools and alter how they are governed.

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Bristol again at odds with state over landfill

Posted on January 29, 2015 |
By Zach Despart



BRISTOL — Bristol officials believe they have found a way to close the town landfill more quickly and cheaply than previously anticipated, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation has said it will not support the plan.

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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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Editorial: Slaying the dragon of education reform

Posted on January 8, 2015 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



Bristol’s Rep. Dave Sharpe might have just assumed the mantle of dragon slayer, if things go well with his new post as chair of the House Education Committee, or less favorable titles if things don’t go well. And, frankly, the odds are a toss-up.

The stated task the Education Committee faces is nothing short of Herculean: to restructure the financial system, bring down costs and reduce the property tax burden, while also improving student outcomes.

full story

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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Baser in, Fisher out in Addison-4

Posted on November 6, 2014 |
By John Flowers



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BRISTOL — Bristol Republican Fred Baser on Tuesday rattled what had been a decade of Democratic dominance in the Addison-4 House district, and his victory will also likely have a big impact on the complexion of the Legislature’s health care reform debate during the next biennium.

Baser, in his second bid for one of Addison-4’s two House seats, was the top vote-getter in the four-town district with a total of 1,872 tallies. Rep. Dave Sharpe, D-Bristol, finished second in the race with 1,765 votes.

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Bristol, Agency of Natural Resources at odds over future of town landfill

Posted on November 3, 2014 |
By Zach Despart



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BRISTOL — Officials in Bristol are at odds with the state over when to close the town’s landfill and how to pay for it.

In August, the Agency of Natural Resources sent the town four notices of alleged violations for the landfill, which is located off Pine Street. The town was able to address three of them, but one, that alleges that Bristol has failed to save enough money every year to pay for the closure of the landfill, has left the selectboard in a bind.

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