Our education infrastructure is too large for number served
Keep in mind, the Education Fund is now more than $2.1 billion dollars. With fewer than 83,000 Pre-K through 12 students, we're spending about $25,000 a year per student, among the very highest in the country.
It's the result of an education infrastructure that is too large for the number it serves, so not enough money is making it to the kids.
Source: 2024 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature
, Jan 4, 2024
Time we end the stigma around career and technical education
If we make smart changes to current policy, we can open the door to Career and Technical Education, giving kids multiple paths to a lucrative career and filling these crucial jobs. For far too long, we have not done enough to point students toward
these great opportunities to build a real future for themselves. It is time we end the stigma around CTE. Because the fact is, many of the smartest, most successful people I know are in the trades.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature
, Jan 5, 2022
Investing in childcare a top priority; address inequities
Despite the nearly $2 billion we spend educating 83,000 students, we know there are drastic differences from district to district and not all kids get off to the same start. To me, this is the most glaring example of inequity that exists in our state
and it cuts directly across regional, economic and racial lines. We must fix this, and we should start by making sure all kids have a solid foundation. That's why I've made investing in childcare a top priority.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature
, Jan 7, 2021
Build the country's best cradle-to-career education system
I believe the best opportunity for progress is in early care and learning--to give all kids, regardless of their background, a strong foundation. If we can work together on a high-quality child care system that's affordable and accessible we could set
Vermont apart from other states. Let's make change that gives all our kids an equal shot at success, that puts their interests above special interests, and builds them the best cradle-to-career education system in the country.
Source: 2020 Vermont State of the State address
, Jan 9, 2020
$1M more for VSAC non-traditional pathways for jobs
To help people pursue education and training opportunities outside the traditional college track my budget increases funding for VSAC's Non-Degree Grant program by over $1 million. Last year, we committed $400,000 from the Capital Bill for programs
and equipment to increase training opportunities for adults looking for new skills. If we keep the focus on our kids, we can give every kid the best possible education and the tools to reach their full potential, from cradle to career.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Vermont legislature
, Jan 24, 2019
Statewide funding inserts Montpelier into school decisions
Governor Scott addressed attendees at his Education Summit, which brought more than 300 education stakeholders together to discuss improvements to Vermont's education system, build on the Governor's vision for a Cradle-to-Career continuum of learning,
and how to address funding challenges as we face a continued decline in enrollments. Gov. Scott said:
With a statewide funding formula--and a single state education fund--there is no doubt Montpelier has inserted itself into education decisions more
and more over the past several years. They were well meaning and honest efforts to expand opportunities and contain costs. There's no doubt the difficult position this placed on local board. Many of you here today are probably frustrated and exhausted
with all the changes over the last 20 years.
Between Act 166 of 2014 requiring universal pre-k; and Act 46 of 2015, which is encouraging the rightsizing of our system, I understand the fatigue and frustration regarding education reform.
Realign funding toward early care and trades training
Our current system is not working to the best of its capacity for our kids, parents, teachers, administrators or taxpayers. Our teachers and support staff work hard, but they are confined by a rigid, antiquated and inefficient structure that isn't
evolving as quickly as technology, society and fiscal realities demand.
We must be honest about how we distribute funding. Our schools have 20,000 fewer kids than they did 20 years ago. We can no longer afford to allow so much of the nearly $19,000
we spend for each K- through-12 student to be diverted away from the child and toward empty spaces and overhead costs. This structural inefficiency also leaves too little of our $1.6 billion education commitment for investments in early care, higher
education, and trades training.
I'm proposing a realignment of priorities to unify the system from early care to higher education and trades training. I'm proposing we increase investment in early care and pre-K by $9.6 million.
$4M to state colleges; low tuition increases thru 2021
One area where Vermont consistently ranks as one of lowest in the nation is in our level of support for state colleges and universities. We have approximately 40,000 students in our higher education system. That's 40,000 soon-to-be professionals, who
choose to be in Vermont. Whether they grew up here, or were drawn from out of state, we need more of them to stay after graduation. So, let's partner with our colleges and universities in this effort.
My budget proposes a base increase of $4 million
to Vermont State Colleges. In return, I'm asking them to use this additional funding to support my strategic goals. They will work with employers to align degree programs with market demands, to keep tuition increases below inflation through 2021.
I am also proposing an annual increase of $1 million in base appropriations for both the University of Vermont and VSAC, to get more low and middle-income Vermonters the opportunities they need.
Preserve school choice; improve Act 46 school consolidation
Scott's campaign website stated that he would refuse to sign any legislation that "increases the costs" of living in Vermont. It also asserted Scott would focus on ensuring political stability and included the following priorities:
Grow the state economy by investing in "job training, higher education, technical education and road and telecommunications infrastructure."
Improve Act 46, which consolidated local school districts in Vermont, by preserving school choice
Invest in public education
Eliminate the Vermont Health Exchange and transition to a better
model that allows people to buy insurance from the federal exchange or from out of state
Avoid raising taxes
Audit all state agencies to eliminate inefficiencies
I wholeheartedly support age-appropriate sexuality education in schools. I believe young people need guidance about the life and health consequences that come with the decision to be sexually active.
For the same reasons, I also believe parents should counsel any woman under 18 who wants to have an abortion.
Source: Planned Parenthood survey on 2016 Vermont gubernatorial race
, Mar 15, 2012