The Vermont School Boards Association exists to achieve Vermont’s vision for public education by supporting local boards to serve as effective trustees for education on behalf of their communities, and by providing a strong collective voice in the development and implementation of public education policy.
October 27, 2014 The VSBA has just released a report detailing the financial impact of health care reform on Vermont’s school districts. This issue is the perfect nexus between two of our state’s most pressing policy issues—the implementation of health care reform and rising property tax rates.
The VSBA commissioned the study in order to provide its members with the most accurate information about the current cost of health care and the potential savings that could be achieved if school district employees’ health care benefits were more closely aligned with the benefits available to all other Vermonters.
Between September 15 and October 15, the VSBA convened six regional meetings which attracted more than 600 participants. The key focus of the meetings was “Education Equity, Opportunity, and Cost”. The sessions featured a showing of the video data presentation Situational Analysis of Public Education 2014, followed by an in-depth presentation by Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe. Attendees then engaged in discussion of two of our biggest challenges—addressing our rising cost per pupil which is driven largely by staff to student ratios and creating more equal opportunity across districts/supervisory unions. A summary of key themes and the full list of items generated at each meeting can also be found on the VSBA website.
The ideas generated are general in nature. We urge boards to act on them locally/regionally as they assess their particular current circumstances. We also welcome any ideas you may have on statewide policy changes or service improvements which can help districts take needed action.
Many attendees asked for electronic copies of the handouts from the 2014 VSA/VSBA Conference.
Vermont’s school boards are passionate about every child receiving an exceptional education. We know that the world is changing and that technology has opened dramatic new opportunities to enhance learning for our students.
For the past several months, we have spoken at regional meetings and at our annual conference about the need to engage every child in education and prepare them for success in this fast-changing world. By most measures, Vermont has a very good education system compared to other states. At the same time, we know that there are too many students who do not engage in their education. We know that too few students go on to higher education and fewer still complete a degree. We know we have much to do to better prepare our students for the new economy that calls for highly skilled graduates who are proficient in literacy, science, math, critical thinking, and creativity.
Moving education forward will require change on many levels—statewide leadership as evidenced by the Governor in his recent inaugural address, sound policy from the State Board, effective support from the new Agency, and most importantly, local implementation. Genuine, sustainable change comes community-by-community, school-by-school, through the creative efforts of teachers, through the education leadership of superintendents and principals, and through the commitment and focus of school boards. Vermont’s school boards are catalysts for change and create a climate that allows innovation to flourish among educators. We must be committed to moving education forward.
Over the course of the fall, the Vermont School Boards Association and the Vermont Superintendents Association have put together a joint Agenda for Public Education. The comprehensive proposal, presented by board members and superintendents to a joint press conference on January 15, is available on this webpage. It focuses on how we engage every child in a world-class education. Specific proposals are being made in the areas of:
To learn more about the Agenda for a World-Class Education System, please review the following documents:
VSBA & VSA Press Release
VSBA & VSA Agenda for a World-Class Education System
Succinct Summary of Agenda Proposals
The Essential Work of Vermont School Boards book is 134 pages. It is revised every three years. The current version was created in 2012. The next will be released in 2015. The price of the book is $15 plus $5 (each) shipping. The books are mailed with invoice. If you are a current board member the invoice will be mailed to your school district.ORDER FORM
The Vermont Education Lawbook is released annually in early December. Vermont School Boards Association holds a standing order list for the lawbook. If you are placed on the list you will receive a postcard in July/August of the release year to confirm your order.
All books are shipped with an invoice with net 30 terms of payment.
Would you like to be placed on the lawbook standing order list - no charge. We would mail you a postcard in August to verify an order for the upcoming year.
This website holds many educational opportunities for candidates. In 2013 the VSBA has prepared a video for school board candidates. Also, please consider viewing the Essential Work of Vermont School Boards streaming videos or the Essential Work of Vermont School Boards resource book among the many other pages found in this website. Good luck!