Archive - Apr 15, 2010
WEYBRIDGE — Local lawmakers served notice on Monday they are not enamored with a proposal to save around $20 million annually by consolidating Vermont’s 280 school districts into fewer than 50 and trimming public education personnel.
That public education consolidation plan, endorsed by Vermont Education Commissioner Armando Vilaseca, is part of a “Challenges for Change” cost cutting plan aimed at producing $38 million in savings for state government. Lawmakers are currently trying to shore up a $154 million shortfall in the fiscal year 2011 state budget.
MIDDLEBURY – Where can you find solar houses, glass blowing, analyses of the Chilean health care system and old wooden trapping boats?
Students will be doing presentations on all of these — and more — this Friday at the Middlebury College Spring Student Symposium.
To be fair, the solar house won’t be on display, since it isn’t built yet. But building plans for the house will be on display all day at the symposium, an event that gives students a chance to present projects they have been doing to the wider community.
To have a serious discussion about the financial benefits of school consolidation, we all first have to agree that unifying governance, alone, solves very little. What is uniformly recognized is that significant savings come by combining schools — including eliminating building expenses; reducing staff, teachers and administrators; and getting the teacher-pupil ratio higher. Reducing the number of school boards and the number of meetings all of those volunteers attend saves little and serves as the smoke screen to the more serious conversation.
On April 18, 1970, then Gov. Deane Davis — clad in work clothes and a brimmed hat with a dozen Boy Scouts in front of him — posed for a photo in the middle of Interstate 89 outside of Montpelier while picking up trash along the highway. It was the state’s first Green Up Day and the governor (who also pushed through Act 250 under Addison County Sen. Art Gibb’s leadership) closed the interstate for the day (imagine!) so Vermonters could safely clean up the state’s busiest thoroughfare.
That’s taking the issue to heart — and making a statement.
BRISTOL — Local foods advocates, educators and farmers convened on Tuesday afternoon with a full plate of work in front of them: Participants in the county-wide summit first and foremost want to see school districts in Addison County serving more food that is locally grown and produced — but that goal was the tip of the iceberg.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team on Tuesday bounced back from its first home loss of the spring by outlasting visiting Skidmore, 11-9.
The Panthers, ranked No. 17 in NCAA Division III, are 6-3 overall and in a five-way tie for third place in NESCAC at 3-3, trailing Connecticut and Tufts, each 6-0.
They were coming off a disappointing 11-6 loss to Bowdoin (also 3-3 in NESCAC) on Saturday, and are heading into their final regular season home game, vs. Trinity (1-5 NESCAC) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Last week, Governor Douglas allowed a bill to move Vermont’s primary from the second Tuesday of September back to the fourth Tuesday of August to become law without his signature. This year’s primary elections will be held on August 24.
VERGENNES — When Ferrisburgh’s Kelsey Howard first came to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes five years ago, she was an 11-year-old so shy she admits she spent a year doing little more than sitting in a corner with club supervisor Kathy Ciociola.