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VSBA Beliefs, Vision & Mission

  1. That public education is the foundation of and for democracy.

  2. The VSBA represents school boards in Vermont.

  3. Public education in Vermont is critically important for a healthy democracy, is the engine that drives economic development, and is the core of a strong community.

  4. School boards and their communities need to understand the jobs, roles, and responsibilities of school boards and their members; and boards need to have professional development to be effective and efficient in their roles.

  5. Public education is the greatest equalizer.

  6. Education is a fundamental right.

  7. Vermont is a state where every student has equitable access to a world class public education, and our students are driven by their aspirations, through empowered school boards, who are ensuring student success.

  8. The VSBA is the glue that ties together local school boards, and is respectful of different positions of school boards.



The VSBA is the trusted leadership organization advancing the essential work of Vermont school boards so that each and every student is supported in their educational journey.



Develop and provide systems and resources that support school boards and their members, informed through inclusive community engagement.

First Year Journey

Part 1 of 2

Recorded on May 9, 2023

The journey begins with a series of two webinar sessions. The first webinar occurred on May 8. This is the video and handouts of that webinar. The second part of the series will be held on May 15 from 5:00pm until 6:30pm. A FREE registration for that webinar is below.

This series was created exclusively for newly elected and newly appointed school board members. Join VSBA staff and state experts as we grapple with defining the work of school boards and their members, including governance issues, policy, the role of the board, expectations, financial basics, and board operations.


Board Officers 101

Recorded on April 25, 2023

Are you a new officer on your board or a veteran, who would like to add to our conversation and gain new insights? It is critically important who serves as board chair and also important who serves in other officer positions. The board leadership team needs to represent the interests of the full board, work well with the superintendent, and function as a cohesive, focused unit. They are typically involved in developing agendas and meeting with the superintendent in between business meetings when needed. The ideal board officers have the time to serve, are generally available on short notice, and are experienced leaders. Gain insights into effective practices for serving as a board officer. 

Post Carson v. Makin: Vermont’s Response

Recorded on March 20, 2023

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court set new rules relating to taxpayer funding of private schools. The Supreme Court’s decision opens the door to changes to Vermont’s taxpayer-backed Education Fund, which is always under cost pressures, through more funding of private schools. A Vermont attorney will set the stage by discussing the Supreme Court’s decision in Carson v. Makin and the Vermont Constitution’s Compelled Support Clause. With that background, legislators will discuss bills introduced to update state laws governing the eligibility of private schools to receive public tuition, including S.66, H.258 and House Education Committee Bill DR 23-0910. 

Moderator: Neil Odell (VSBA President)



Superintendent Peter Burrows (VSA President), 

Attorney Harry Stark (Vermont ACLU), 

Senator Ruth Hardy, 

Representative Peter Conlon, 

Representative Edye Graning, 

Representative Rebecca Holcombe

The NEW 2023 School Board

Onboarding New Board Members & Reorganizing the Board

Recorded on March 2, 2023

This webinar has key insights to ensure your district has excellent practices for onboarding and working well with new members. Too many boards leave this to hope and happenstance. Nearly no one automatically knows how to be an effective school board member. We have to be shown the ropes, coached along the way, learn from our mistakes, and know that we are part of a team that has the best interest at heart. The way you provide information, resources, and encouragement in the first sixty days to a new school board is critical for them to contribute meaningfully to the board and its work. Consider ways your board can be intentional about bringing new members onto the team and supporting the long term success of your board. 


This webinar includes practical tips to consider when reorganizing your board including qualities to look for in board officers and mistakes to avoid. 


This webinar is helpful to all central office staff as well as school board members.

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