State of Vermont Archives: on Education

Patrick Leahy: For Farm-to-School Act to teach nutrition & agriculture

The Farm to School Act, introduced by Leahy, seeks to reauthorize and expand the popular federal Farm to School program. Leahy said: "Whether with planting a garden, visiting a farm or cooking with fresh ingredients, students are learning the link between nutrition, agriculture and wellness. We must invest in the health of the next generation and that includes ensuring that students across the country have access to the benefits of Farm to School programing."
Source: Vermont Business Magazine on 2022 Vermont Senate race May 6, 2021

Phil Scott: 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

David Zuckerman: Supports universal afterschool and pre-K education

We must expand our understanding of societal issues that inhibit learning and overextend teachers, such as poverty, substance abuse, migration and mental health challenges, and work to address them. By closely connecting the Department of Health and the Agency of Human Services with the Agency of Education, we can find ways to save money by reducing redundancy, provide a stronger continuum of care and improve outcomes for some of our most vulnerable Vermonters.

We will support universal afterschool and pre-K education. We must work to destigmatize parental childcare and uplift the women and men who provide this vital service. Childcare is a part of our children's growth and education. We need to increase access to high-quality, affordable, childcare for those who work. By supporting and expanding programs like T.E.A.C.H., we will not only improve education for Vermont's children, we will raise wages for workers in a field dominated by women.

Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Apr 3, 2020

David Zuckerman: Free in-state tuition for trade schools & higher education

We are facing a shortage of people prepared to work in the trades. We will support these solid occupations. In addition, we will encourage demographic groups who have historically been underrepresented in the trades, including women, to take advantage of these opportunities in Vermont. Trade schools and higher education should be affordable and accessible to those who want to take that path, which is why we support free in-state tuition for Vermonters.
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Apr 3, 2020

David Zuckerman: Stricter standards for independent charter schools

On Feb. 8, 2013, Zuckerman co-introduced a bill requiring independent schools to hire only state-certified teachers, accept all publicly funded students who apply so long as space permits, provide free and reduced-price lunch to eligible students, and be approved to offer at least four categories of special education.

The Ethan Allen Institute, a free-market think tank, criticized that the bill lacked input from the schools.˙The Vermont Independent Schools Association also opposed the bill, saying, "State control of admissions and of hiring would strongly impair independent schools' ability to fulfill their unique missions."

Bill supporters argued that the independent schools were weakening public education by attracting students and state tuition dollars away from public schools without being required to meet state mandates, such as the requirement to offer expensive special education services. The VT National Education Association and the Vermont School Board Association endorsed SB 91.

Source: on Vermont legislation voting record Feb 29, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Public schools reveal strength of a community

Education is one of the most important investments we make. When we make sure every child grows up healthy and capable, the whole state gains the benefit of their strong hands and able minds. When we have strong schools, we end up with workers who can make us prosperous and contribute to the civic lives of our communities. If you want to determine the strength of a community, look at its public school.
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website Jan 23, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Inadequate educational funding impacts generations

The Legislature needs to act to ensure our funding formula provides both taxpayer equity and a fair chance at a good education for every child. A study from the University of Vermont, presented recently to the legislature, crystallizes the problem. I encourage the legislature to act on the UVM study by:We must address the inequity in our funding model, because our children are paying the price. In the long run, we will all pay dearly if we fail to invest in the healthy development and learning of our youngest Vermonters. When some of our children can't thrive, we all lose the benefit of their strong hands and able minds. The fallout from inadequate educational funding is measured in generations, not school years.
Source: Bennington Banner on 2020 Vermont legislature voting record Jan 21, 2020

Rebecca Holcombe: Fallout from inadequate funding measured in generations

We must address the inequity in our funding model, because our children are paying the price. In the long run, we will all pay dearly if we fail to invest in the healthy development and learning of our youngest Vermonters. When some of our children can't thrive, we all lose the benefit of their strong hands and able minds. The fallout from inadequate educational funding is measured in generations, not school years.
Source: 2020 Vermont governor campaign website press release Jan 17, 2020

Phil Scott: 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

Phil Scott: $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

Rebecca Holcombe: Committed to protecting rights of students with disabilities

after her departure by her successor, Education Secretary Dan French. It envisioned breaking down the state's school districts into one and affording public and private school choice to all students. As soon as that document became public in January, Scott distanced himself from it. "I don't think we're ready for anything like that at this point," he told Vermont Public Radio at the time. According to a Scott spokesperson, the governor has never advocated a statewide voucher system. Vermont Sec. of Education Rebecca Holcombe wrote in an email that the state was strongly committed to protecting the rights and opportunities of students with disabilities and state commitments have not changed. "We appreciate the work of our Vermont partners in tracking supports for children with disabilities," Holcombe wrote. "The Agency will continue to evaluate as the task force moves forward."
Source: Burlington Free Press on 2020 Vermont Gubernatorial race Oct 25, 2018

Keith Stern: Give education control back to the local districts

Education should be locally controlled and should not be breaking the backs of residents. I would work to eliminate the Vermont Agency of Education and use the money in a more productive manner while giving control back to the districts. I would rather see the school districts send representatives to get together quarterly. They can discuss issues such as student to teacher ratio while also looking at the classroom size to be sure that we have an optimum balance between cost and results.
Source: 2018 VT Gubernatorial campaign website Sep 18, 2018

Keith Stern: Technical schools train for well-paying, in-demand jobs

We must encourage our young people to explore skilled labor as a career. People trained in trade skills can earn as much as someone who graduated from a 4 year college. Yet most students are directed towards the 4 year path, where many graduate with heavy student debt and the inability to find gainful employment. We have 16 technical centers and one technical college. Students graduating from these institutions with in demand skills, will have a direct impact on the positive growth of economy.
Source: 2018 VT Gubernatorial campaign website Sep 18, 2018

Christine Hallquist: Supports public schools; does not want them privatized

Work with teachers and communities to improve education funding structures. Respect teachers, school boards, and students, and work proactively with the legislature and l communities to support our schools. Fight back threats to privatize our public education system. Invest in opportunities not only for tuition free public college, but trade schools that will train future workers and entrepreneurs. Recognize link between early-childhood education and long term outcomes and invest strategically.
Source: 2018 VT governor Campaign website Sep 1, 2018

Brooke Paige: Reject Common Core; protect local control

Source: 2018 Vermont Senate campaign website Aug 14, 2018

Lawrence Zupan: High tuition costs pay for facilities; learn online instead

Regarding high college education costs, Zupan suggested that expensive facilities paid for by high tuition costs need to become a thing of the past. "The biggest issue with education is the emphasis on pushing our graduates into brick-and-mortar schools and jacking up $50K to $150K in debt, which is the way they start their post-graduate careers," he said. "Ironically, at a time when all of the wisdom, all of the knowledge accumulated through all of history is being made available online."
Source: True North Reports on 2018 Vermont Senate debates Jul 27, 2018

Rebecca Holcombe: Teacher in school & college before state education secretary

Vermont's previous school chiefs have brought extensive education experience to the job. Former Secretary Holcombe, who resigned last week, was the head of Dartmouth College's teacher training program when she was hired as state education secretary in 2013. She graduated from Simmons Schools of Management and the Harvard Graduate School of Education and worked as a teacher, elementary school principal and school administrator.
Source: Burlington Free Press on 2020 Vermont Gubernatorial race Apr 5, 2018

Phil Scott: 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.

Source: 2018 Vermont Governor campaign press release Dec 18, 2017

Phil Scott: 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.

Source: 2017 Vermont State of the State address Jan 25, 2017

Phil Scott: $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.

Source: 2017 Vermont State of the State address Jan 25, 2017

Phil Scott: 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:
Source: on 2016 Vermont Gubernatorial race Aug 31, 2016

Scott Milne: Rethink how government funds education

School spending. My property taxes are up more than 700 percent in 20 years, school enrollments are down, and spending continues to rise. The time has come to rethink how government funds education. It's a hard set of choices, and together we can bridge the partisan divide and do what's best for Vermonters. Read "Investing in Vermont's Future," my plan for Education & Economic Opportunity in Vermont.
Source: 2016 Vermont Senate campaign website Aug 8, 2016

Sue Minter: Universal pre-K via public-private partnerships

Provide Early Childhood Education: As a working mother, I know the multiple benefits of early childhood education. Children are better prepared to learn, and parents--especially women--can earn an income. Children who have high quality early care and education are more likely to finish high school and continue beyond. With 50% of Vermont's children arriving at kindergarten unready to learn, we must do more to improve education and caregiving for our youngest children -- whose brains are already 80% developed by age 3 . I will work to implement universal pre-K and explore public-private partnerships to make high quality, affordable early education, and parenting support available to Vermont families.
Source: 2016 Vermont gubernatorial campaign website May 25, 2016

Bruce Lisman: Give school districts flexibility on resources and spending

All of Vermont's children deserve a high-quality education. As the son of a public school teacher and a graduate of Vermont's public schools, I understand this quite well. A quality school system is also essential for the state's economic growth and prosperity. Vermonters believe in the importance of public education, and have always generously supported it. But they want a school finance system that works as efficiently as possible, one that is fair to both students and taxpayers. As Governor, I would do the following.
Source: 2016 gubernatorial campaign website, Mar 6, 2016

Peter Shumlin: Publicly fund a college savings plan for each child

Despite having one of the highest graduation rates in the country, we continue to fall short getting more students the college education that is now a prerequisite to earning a decent wage. That's why I signed a bill last year to help families start saving for college from the day their children are born. My budget will ensure every child born in Vermont will receive a $250 contribution to get a savings plan started, and for low-income Vermonters we will double that to $500.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Vermont legislature Jan 7, 2016

Peter Shumlin: Provide free college courses for low income people

We need to make it easier for those who are working hard in low-paying jobs to get back to school. In partnership with CCV, Vermont State Colleges and UVM my budget will provide $2 million to launch Step Up, funding a semester of free courses and support services to help first generation and low income students get back to school.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Vermont legislature Jan 7, 2016

Shap Smith: Larger school districts improve quality & control costs

The Vermont House of Representatives today passed a comprehensive education reform package that proposes to address growing disparity in learning opportunities for Vermont's students, and places firm restrictions on local education spending growth. "Vermonters want property tax relief and greater equity in education across our delivery system," said Speaker Smith.

The House education bill (H.361) proposes to create larger school districts, promote greater equity in the delivery of high quality education to the state's prekindergarten to grade 12 students, impose a moratorium on unfunded legislative requirements, and cap spending.

"Vermonters asked us to pass a bill that will make a real difference in the classroom and on their tax bills," Speaker Smith noted. "The passage of H.361 marks the first step in a process to improve education quality, control costs, promote sustainability, and provide students with opportunities to succeed," he concluded.

Source: 2016 gubernatorial press release via Apr 2, 2015

David Zuckerman: No vouchers; no Common Core

Q: Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?


Q: Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?


Q: Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?



Source: Vote Smart Vermont State 2014 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2014

Peter Shumlin: Dual enrollment for high school students to state college

Dual enrollment for high school students to state college To help move more poor kids beyond high school, I ask you to pass two provisions that you have heard me speak about before.

The first is dual enrollment. Over the past five years, state funding has provided limited access to Vermont high school Dual enrollment for high school students to state college the money follows the student and all Vermont students have access to this important program.

Let's also authorize an early college initiative aimed at expanding the number of students who simultaneously complete their senior year of high school with

Source: 2013 Vermont State of the State / inaugural address Jan 10, 2013

Phil Scott: Age-appropriate sex education in schools

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

Larry Drown: Strong Public Education

Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, Jun 24, 2006

Matt Dunne: More funding for public schools & teachers

Source: Vermont Congressional 2002 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

  • The above quotations are from State of Vermont Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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