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.


Save the Date!

THE VSA/VSBA ANNUAL CONFERENCE:
EDUCATION LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE
IN A TIME OF DRAMATIC CHANGE
October 29-October 31
Lake Morey Resort

Plan Now to Attend

We are in a time of significant change. Boards are being asked to oversee their local systems as they currently exist, to promote changed educational practices, but at the same time to begin to prepare for major structural changes. More than ever, board members need perspective, information, and support. The Annual Conference, this year, will be designed for that purpose.

Plan now, even as your budget is just going before the voters in another two weeks, to come to the conference next fall!

Let us know what kinds of opportunities you are looking for. Please send your suggestions to us at: klamb@vtvsba.org


Legislative Initiative Around PreK-12 Education Systems

The Vermont Legislature is seriously considering changes in the overall structure of education governance. The VSBA Board passed a motion on February 13, deciding to participate in the creation of this legislation. The specific motion reads as follows:

The Vermont School Boards Association will participate in the development of legislation that creates PreK-12 Education Systems designed to: provide students with more equitable access to world-class learning opportunities, ensure greater flexibility in the management of public resources and less volatility for taxpayers, and maintain strong community involvement and support for our schools.
In mid March the VSBA sponsored five in-person regional meetings around the state as well as one webinar. They were completed on March 24. We heard a wide array of reactions to this issue. A summary is linked below. That report has been shared with key legislation committees.

On March 27, the VSBA Board took additional action and agreed to the following:

  1. Continue to address the serious issue outlined in the February 13 letter.
  2. Acknowledge the wide range of opinions of school board members
  3. Voted to continue to work "to stay engage in the development process of H.883 and to ensure that it reflects the varying needs of the students and tax payers of Vermont.
H.883 has been approved by the House Education Committee and has been moved out of the House Ways and Means Committee. It currently is under consideration by the House Appropriations Committee and will likely move to the floor of the House of Representatives by later this week. School Boards around Vermont have a broad range of views on this bill. Now is the time to contact your representatives to the House if you desire to make your opinions known.

It is unknown at this time whether the Senate will consider the bill seriously given the short time available in the session.

Relevant documents:

A Situational Analysis of Public Education in Vermont: 2013

This joint presentation of the VSBA & VSA is intended to provide an array of useful information about conditions facing public education in Vermont. The analysis provides an overview of Vermont's school demographics, the statewide political conversation about education, fiscal characteristics of Vermont's schools, and the educational attainment of its students.

Presentation (in Acrobat Format)

Tax Increase Factors

We have created a Vermont School Boards Association Information Bulletin entitled “Factors Contributing to the Increase in Education Tax Rates for 2014-15 at a Rate Higher than Budget Increases”. Use it freely as an information tool. It is not designed to cover every detail of the funding formula. It is not a technical document that can be used with precision in calculating your tax rate. It is designed to communicate major variables that are impacting rising tax rates this year.

Join the Budget Discussion

MOVING EDUCATON FORWARD
Moving Vt Forward

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.

VSBA & VSA Joint Agenda for a World Class Education

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:

  • Focusing education on personalized learning and proficiency
  • A new vision for teaching and learning
  • Engaging and supporting families
  • Delivering and using world-class technology and information
  • Providing effective leadership

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

ESSENTIAL WORK BOOK

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

VT EDUCATION LAW BOOK

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.

ORDER FORM

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.

VT SCHOOL CRISIS GUIDE

>The Vermont School Crisis Guide is designed to help schools develop their comprehensive emergency plan as required by State Board of Education regulations. The guide has also been designed to record vital information during and after a crisis. The document is intended for use by school leaders and emergency service providers. It may be freely copied and distributed to anyone involved with planning and implementing school safety drills.

Vermont Emergency Management – link to the School Crisis Guide: http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/school_crisis

EDUC QUALITY STANDARDS

The Education Quality Standards Commission

Tasked by the Vermont State Board of Education with recommending a state policy framework to insure Vermont's public education system provides a meaningful and rigorous experience for every child over his/her entire school experience - work is underway.

To learn more, follow this link to an overview of the commission's work and VTDOE site with all commission materials.

PUBLIC ASSETS MAP

Public Assets Institute Map

The Public Assets Institute has published a new town2town map. The interactive map shows per-pupil education spending, income-based school tax rates, and property rates for each Vermont town--all in one place, for the first time ever. And the accompanying description has gotten the thumbs up as the most “digestible summary” around.

You can find it here.

RUNNING FOR A SCHOOL BOARD?

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!


New Board Member Orientation and Training

March 18th - May 6th
Attend the session in your area

Information and Registration

The Essential Work of Vermont School Boards Workshop is comprehensive orientation to good governance practices. Highly recommend for new board members. Experienced board members encouraged to attend as well. Full boards that attend together receive a 20% discount.

REGISTER NOW!