Quantcast

YCQM: January 8, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: January 8, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I'M NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING IS BRUCE LISMAN OF THE CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT.

>> WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION AND ITS GOALS FOR THE STATE. MR. LISMAN, THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> GOOD MORNING.

>> SO WHAT IS THIS GROUP?

>> WELL, A CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT IS AN ADVOCACY GROUP. IT'S A NOT-FOR-PROFIT AND ALSO NONPARTISAN. WE'RE NOT CONNECTED TO A PARTY ON THE LEFT OR A PARTY ON THE RIGHT. WE DON'T SUPPORT OR OPPOSE ANY POLITICAL CANDIDATE. WE TRY NOT TO GET IN THE MUD AND ARGUE ABOUT SMALL THINGS. WE'RE FOCUSED ON WHAT I THINK ARE BIG ISSUES. WE FORMED IT A YEAR AGO THANKSGIVING, IT WENT PUBLIC. I HAD TWO COFOUNDERS.

>> YOU AND MR. PELHAM, TOM PELHAM, THE FORMER TAX COMMISSIONERS UNSEVERAL GOVERNORS.

>> THAT'S RIGHT, GOVERNORS DEAN AND DOUGLAS, AND MARY ALICE McKENZIE WHO IN HER THIRD CAREER IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB, FORMERLY A LAWYER AND BEFORE THAT A CEO. WE FORMED CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT BECAUSE WE THOUGHT THE WORLD HAS CHANGED AND WITH IT, WE THOUGHT PUBLIC POLICY OUGHT TO CHANGE AND THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY. MAYBE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1937, A LONG TIME BACK, THE WHOLE WORLD IS FOCUSED ON ONLY ONE BIG COSMIC THEME. EVERY COUNTRY, EVERY STATE OR PROVINCE OR DISTRICT, EVERY CITY OR TOWN, SEEMS TO BE FOCUSED ON THE ECONOMY. THEIR ECONOMY, JOBS, STANDARD OF LIVING, QUALITY OF LIVING, INCOMES AND, OF COURSE, TAX RECEIPTS. IT'S NOT OFTEN A THEME LIKE THIS COMES AROUND, BUT WE THOUGHT A THEME THIS BIG IS SOMETHING OUR STATE SHOULD GRAB ON TO.

>> SO YOU THINK BEFORE THIS GROUP, THE STATE WAS NOT FOCUSED ON THAT?

>> WE'RE TRYING TO FOCUS THE STATE MORE ON THAT. I'D SAY WE TRY TO LOOK AT THINGS THROUGH THE PRISM CAN WE BUILD OR WILL THIS HELP US BUILD OR ENABLE US TO BUILD A DIVERSIFIED AND DYNAMIC ECONOMY. DIVERSIFIED FOR THE TYPE OF THINGS THAT ARE HERE, BUT ALSO WHERE THEY'RE HERE GEOGRAPHICALLY AND IN DYNAMIC IN THE SENSE OF CREATING MORE JOBS THAN THERE ARE PEOPLE, AND THROUGH THAT PRISM, WE CONSIDER PUBLIC POLICY AND SO FAR, I THINK WE'VE STAYED IN A NONPARTISAN MODE. I THINK WE'VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME CONVINCING PEOPLE WE'RE NONPARTY SON AND BEGUN ROLLING -- NONPARTISAN AND BEE GUN ROLLING OUT SOME OF OUR IDEAS.

>> WE'LL GET TO SOME OF THOSE IDEAS OF COURSE BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE THE IDEA BEHIND THIS GROUP IS TO FOSTER DEBATE IN MONTPELIER AND ACROSS THE STATE.

>> WE KEEP SAYING -- THANK YOU, A REALLY GOOD QUESTION IN THE SENSE OF WE TRY TO FINISH OUR DISCUSSIONS WHEN WE HAVE THEM IN GROUPS, WHEN I SPEAK OR TOM OR OTHERS SPEAK, WE HOPE YOU JOIN THE CONVERSATION. WE'RE TRYING TO BUILD THIS COALITION OF VERMONTERS REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL ORIENTATION, YOU KNOW, AS LONG AS ITS CENTER LEFT OR CENTER RIGHT, KIND OF FITS THE MODERATE DEFINITION, AND WE'RE TRYING TO ENGAGE IN COALITION IN BIG IDEAS AND THINK THERE'S MORE INFLUENCE TO BE HAD AND MORE POWER IN NONPARTISAN THAN THERE IS IN BEING POLITICAL.

>> WHO ELSE ARE MEMBERS?

>> IT'S ON OUR WEBSITE. WE STARTED WITH TWO COFOUNDERS, I'D SAY WE STARTED SMALL, AND THEN WE HAVE 24 PARTNER FOUNDERS, THE FIRST 24 PEOPLE WHO SIGNED UP WITH US, EFFECTIVELY OUR BOARD, AND SINCE THEN WE'VE BEEN ADDING A STEADY STREAM OF PARTNERS, PEOPLE WOULD SIMPLY LEND THEIR NAME, AND BY DOING SO, SAY I LIKE THE DIRECTION YOU'RE GOING IN, I LIKE THE FACT THAT YOU'RE NONPARTISAN OR I LIKE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC IDEAS, AND PLUS OR MINUS, WE PROBABLY HAVE 350 PARTNERS.

>> CAN YOU GIVE -- NAME TWO OR THREE FOR US, JUST TO GIVE US A SENSE.

>> IN TERMS OF PARTNERS? WELL, WE SIGNED UP A COUPLE OF PEOPLE IN THE LAST FEW DAYS. I DOUBT IF YOU'VE HEARD OF EITHER ONE. ONE IS A YOUNG -- A FELLOW IN CHARLOTTE WHO DOES WORK IN THE FARM ECONOMY, IS VERY INTERESTED IN SCHOOL BOARD ACTIVITIES, AND ANOTHER FELLOW IS FURTHER SOUTH. HE AND HIS WIFE RUN A GENERAL STORE AND HAVE A WEDDING BUSINESS AS WELL AS A SPARTAN RUNNING BUSINESS, AND, YOU KNOW, JUST -- I DON'T THINK EITHER OF THEM ARE POLITICALLY MINDED, BUT THEY'RE IDEA ORIENTED IN THE SENSE OF THEY LIKE THE IDEA OF LET'S INFUSE OUR DISCUSSION WITH IDEAS ABOUT THE ECONOMY.

>> HOW ARE YOU FINANCED?

>> I FINANCE IT. SO IF I COULD DESCRIBE IT A LITTLE BIT, WHAT I SAID FROM THE VERY, VERY BEGINNING WAS THAT I WOULD FINANCE THIS ENTERPRISE BECAUSE IT'S DIFFERENT. I DON'T -- I DIDN'T KNOW IF IT HAD BEEN DONE BEFORE. I DIDN'T CLAIM TO KNOW A LOT ABOUT POLITICS AND KNOW PROBABLY EVEN LESS TODAY, BUT I WAS LEARNING ABOUT PUBLIC POLICY AND I WANTED TO BE ABLE TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT WE COULD GROW AN ENTERPRISE THAT WOULD LAST, THAT HAD GOOD VALUE, AND WOULD GATHER SUPPORT. AND SO -- AND THAT'S WHY I FINANCED IT, TO SHOW -- I THOUGHT I SHOULD PUT MY MONEY WHERE MY BRAIN WAS ON THIS. MONEY TO ACTION, IF YOU WILL. I'VE GOT A GOAL THIS YEAR OF MAKING IT SUSTAINABLE, JUST TO RAISE MONEY FROM OTHERS, SO IT CONTINUES FOR A LONG TIME.

>> HOW MUCH OF YOUR MONEY HAVE YOU PUT IN?

>> PLUS OR MINUS, ABOUT $400,000?

>> AND WHERE HAS THAT GONE? I THINK PEOPLE MAY HAVE HEARD YOU ON THE RADIO LAST YEAR?

>> THAT'S RIGHT. SOME OF IT WENT TO RADIO ADVERTISING AND SOME WENT TO RESEARCH WORK WE DID AND SOME WENT TO OTHER FORMS OF MARKETING.

>> I'M CURIOUS, A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION TO KRISTEN'S QUESTION EARLIER. HOW MANY OF THESE PARTNERS WOULD IDENTIFY AS REPUBLICANS? BECAUSE I ASKED -- I ASK THIS QUESTION BECAUSE THE GROUP HAS BEEN CALLED A MESSAGE MACHINE FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, YET YOU'RE SAYING THAT THIS IS A NONPARTISAN GROUP.

>> RIGHT. WELL, SOMETIMES A NEW AND DIFFERENT ENTITY -- I THINK WE'RE AN ADVOCACY GROUP THAT WASN'T AROUND FOR ONE ISSUE, WASN'T AROUND FOR ONE SIX-WEEK PERIOD, BUT HERE IT IS A YEAR PLUS, YEAR AND A HALF LATER, IF YOU WILL, AND WE'RE STILL ROLLING OUT OUR IDEAS AND TRYING TO INFLUENCE, IF YOU WILL, THE COURSE OF DISCUSSION. I THINK FACED WITH SOMETHING NEW, PEOPLE WERE QUICK TO SAY, I MIGHT LIKE THEIR IDEAS, BUT I'D LIKE TO HAVE IT DEFINED BY THEIR POLITICAL ORIENTATION AND I'VE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING, IF YOU LIKE OUR IDEAS, YOU DON'T NEED ANY PARTICULAR FURTHER DEFINITION. BUT I UNDERSTAND HOW THINGS ARE AND IN PARTICULAR, IN THE BUSINESS OF POLITICS CAN GET MEAN, SO JUST LABELING THINGS DOES TAKE PLACE. WE'VE REALLY STUCK TO A NONPARTISAN TONE. I CAN'T TELL YOU AT THIS POINT WITH 300 -- MORE THAN 350 PARTNERS ON, EXACTLY WHO IS CENTER LEFT OR WHO IS CENTER RIGHT. I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE PEOPLE I SPEAK WITH ARE FROM, IF YOU WILL, BROADLY SPEAKING, DEFINE THEM'S IN THE CENTER AND THAT'S WHERE WE'RE -- THEMSELVES IN THE CENTER AND THAT'S WHERE WE'RE GOING TO STAY.

>> KRISTEN HAS MENTIONED THE RADIO ADS THAT THE CAMPAIGN HAD PUT OUT EARLIER AND IN ONE OF THEN, IT SAID, YOU KNOW, THAT THINGS IN MONTPELIER WERE, QUOTE, OUT OF CONTROL. IT WOULD SEEM TO PEOPLE THAT WHO YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THERE ARE DEMOCRATS, CONSIDERING THAT DEMOCRATS CONTROL THE GOVERNOR'S SEAT AND THEY CONTROL THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE. IS THAT NOT CORRECT?

>> WELL, IT'S CORRECT THEY CONTROL BOTH SIDES, ANYWAY, CERTAINLY THE GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE. OUR ADS WERE DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY OURSELVES AS BEING AN INTERESTED PARTY IN PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES, AND IN OUR FIRST YEAR, WE TENDED TO BE A LITTLE MORE REACTIVE THAN YOU WILL SEE IN THE COMING YEARS, WHEREAS WE NOW HAVE OUR IDEAS ROLLING OUT. REALLY, WE'VE STUCK WITH THE ISSUES THEMSELVES, SO THE ONLY TIME WE OFFERED UP AN AD DIRECTED IN THAT DIRECTION ESSENTIALLY WAS ON THE MATTER OF PROPERTY TAXES WHERE LAST YEAR THE LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR DECLINED TO TRANSFER THE $27.5 MILLION TO THE EDUCATION FUND, WHICH MEANT THAT PROPERTY TAXES WERE GOING TO GO UP AND THEY COUPLED IT WITH A WARNING TO SCHOOL BOARDS TO HOLD THE LINE. IT SEEMED TO US UNFAIR AND THE OUTCOME WAS HIGHLY LIKELY THAT PROPERTY TAXES WOULD GO UP. IT LED US TO SAYING THAT KIND OF THING ON RADIO AND I'M GLAD WE DID, BUT WE'VE COUPLED THAT WITH A LARGE PIECE ON EDUCATION THAT ALSO COVERS THE NATURE OF PROPERTY TAXES AND THE NATURE OF THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION THAT WE'D LIKE FOR OUR CHILDREN.

>> IF THE MISSION AND THE GOAL OF CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT IS TO SORT OF ELEVATE DISCUSSION, HAVE THESE SORT OF THOUGHTFUL CONVERSATIONS, HOW IS THAT ACCOMPLISHED IN A 30-SECOND RADIO AD WHERE YOU'RE SAYING MONTPELIER IS OUT OF CONTROL? HOW DOES THAT FIT WITH THE MISSION?

>> I DON'T THINK YOU WILL HEAR US OFFER THAT KIND OF AD THIS YEAR, 2013.

>> WAS THAT A POOR MOVE THEN? DO YOU REGRET THAT?

>> NO, I THINK IT'S WHAT I'VE LEARNED, LEARNING AS WE GO, 30 SECONDS OR 60 SECONDS DOESN'T ALLOW YOU TO EXPLAIN THE CONTEXT FOR THINGS, NOR TO OFFER UP THE FOLLOW-ON, BUT --

>> SO ARE YOU DONE WITH RADIO ADS?

>> NO, WE MIGHT DO, BUT THEY MIGHT BE SHAPED DIFFERENTLY. I'M NOT 100% SURE WHAT WE'LL DO. WE'RE NOT DONE MARKETING OURSELVES BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IN OUR IDEAS AND WE BELIEVE WE CAN ADVOCATE FOR THEM IN A LOT OF WAYS. SPEAKING FOR SMALL GROUPS, OF COURSE, MEETING YOU OR BEING ON A RADIO SHOW OR ADVERTISING ON THE SHOW OR THE WEB OR VARIATIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. SOME COMBINATION OF THOSE THINGS WILL REACH A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE, I HOPE, AND THEY CAN DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES WHAT THEY THINK OF OUR IDEAS, ENGAGE IN THE DISCUSSION. WE ALWAYS SAY THE SAME THING AT THE END OF -- WE'RE TALKING TO A GROUP, IF YOU LIKE OUR IDEAS, TAKE THEM. IF YOU HAVE BETTER VERSIONS OF OUR IDEA, IF YOU LIKE THE DIRECTION WE'RE GOING IN BUT YOU HAVE ANOTHER VARIATION, TELL US, AND WE TRY TO INCORPORATE IT IF IT FITS.

>> WOULD YOU EVER RUN FOR HIGHER OFFICE?

>> NO, I DON'T HAVE A PLAN TO RUN FOR OFFICE. I HAVE A PLAN TO KEEP CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT AS A NONPARTISAN ENTITY AND THROUGH THAT, INFLUENCE THOSE WHO ARE IN POLITICS.

>> BUT YOU KNOW THAT'S COME UP. PEOPLE HAVE SORT OF QUESTIONED YOUR MOTIVES.

>> THAT TOO.

>> AND SO YOU'RE SAYING RIGHT HERE, YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO RUN FOR HIGHER OFFICE.

>> NEVER PLAN TO RUN. WHAT I'VE SAID, TOO, THOUGH IS THERE ARE OTHER THINGS I'VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH IN THE STATE. I HAVE GREAT AFFECTION FOR AND DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THE SHELBURNE MUSEUM, IMPORTANT BEACON OF CULTURE, AND THE ARTS IN THE STATE. THERE WAS A BIG NEW EXPANSION PROGRAM AND I'VE BEEN INVOLVED FOR A LONG TIME WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT.

>> ON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

>> I WAS THE CHAIR FOR TWO YEARS. WE WERE ACTIVE AT A DIFFICULT TIME FOR THE UNIVERSITY AND I COMMITTED MY TIME AND MY MONEY. I VIEW THIS AS A PROJECT AND A CAUSE AT LEAST AS BIG, AS IMPORTANT FOR ME, AS THOSE TWO THINGS WERE.

>> DO YOU ENVISION THE TIME WHEN THE CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT WILL ENDORSE CANDIDATES? YOU SAY YOU'RE NOT RUNNING YOURSELF. DO YOU THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE A TIME WHEN YOU WILL PUT THE CAMPAIGN BEHIND A CANDIDATE?

>> OR EVEN SCORE A CANDIDATE LIKE YOU SEE WITH THE NRA ISSUES, RATINGS, OR THE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP ISSUE RATINGS.

>> I GUESS IT COULD HAPPEN. I HADN'T THOUGHT OF IT, THOUGH PEOPLE SAY WHY DON'T YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT, AND I DON'T KNOW. MAYBE THAT'S A GOOD IDEA, BUT I GUESS NOT. FOR ONE THING, IT PUTS US IN AN OPPOSITIONAL POSITION AND UNLESS I SAY I LIKE EVERYTHING YOU DO, THERE'S A PART OF ME THAT SAYS I DON'T LIKE, YOU KNOW, ONE PERCENT OR 10%. IT'S AN OPPOSITIONAL KIND OF APPROACH. I'D RATHER WE OFFER UP OUR IDEAS, HOPEFULLY WE CAN INFLUENCE PEOPLE IN THE LEGISLATURE AND THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE. SOME OF OUR IDEAS WERE MOVE INTO THE MAINSTREAM. TERMINOLOGY CERTAINLY, BUT MAYBE THE SUBSTANCE OF THEM. AND WE WILL RECONSIDER WHAT PUBLIC POLICY SHOULD LOOK LIKE FOR THE YEARS AHEAD.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BRIEF BRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBRBR

>>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE. WE'RE TALKING TO BRUCE LISMAN, ONE OF THE COFOUNDERS OF CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT. THE GROUP STARTED LAST YEAR AND WE'RE LEARNING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE GROUP'S MISSION AND ALSO WHAT IT HOPES TO DO IN THE FUTURE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> LET'S GET TO SOME OF THESE ISSUES THAT THE GROUP IS TACKLING.

>> SURE.

>> AND LET'S START WITH EDUCATION. THE GROUP HAS SAID THAT IT'S A COSTLY BUREAUCRATIC SYSTEM THAT DIVERTS RESOURCES FROM THE CLASSROOM. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

>> THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION, BUT IF YOU'LL LET ME, I'LL STEP BACK ONE FURTHER STEP AND SAY LET'S CONSIDER THE NATURE OF OUR PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM. AND WHAT WE SAID IN OUR REPORT WAS THAT IN ALL WAYS THAT WE COULD FINE, IT MEASURES OUT TO BE AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. TOP SEVEN OR TOP TEN DEPENDING ON HOW YOU MEASURE IT, AND THERE'S REALLY NO TIME IN RECENT MEMORY THAT IT HASN'T BEEN WITHIN THAT CATEGORY. SO I WOULD SAY WE HAVE A PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM, K-12, THAT IS QUITE GOOD, AND THEREFORE, IT'S A BEDROCK TO BUILD ON BUT CONSIDER THIS. WHICH YOU PERFECTLY KNOW WELL. AMERICA HAS SLIPPED IN THE INTERNATIONAL RANKINGS, WHICH ARE NOW WELL PUBLICIZED, AND DEPENDING ON HOW YOU LOOK AT IT AND WHICH YEAR YOU CHOSE TO LOOK AT IT, THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE CERTAINLY OUT OF THE TOP 20. THE BIGGEST, MOST PROMINENT MEASUREMENT WAS OECD COUNTRIES, AND WE RANKED SOMEPLACE AROUND 23rd OR 24th, I THINK, OUT OF THE 34 OR 36 PARTICIPANTS. LATER ON, THERE HAVE BEEN VARIATIONS. VERMONT IN THAT CATEGORY STILL RANKS WELL, BUT NO LONGER CERTAINLY IN THE TOP SEVEN OR EIGHT OR TEN. WE TOOK A DIFFERENT LOOK AT THIS, UNDERSTANDING YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT HOW WE MIGHT RECREATE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, WE SAID, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE SAID WE WANTED TO HAVE THE BEST EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD? JUST TO PICK A CASUAL GOAL. TRUE, BUT NOT UNHEARD OF, 626,000 PEOPLE IN THE STATE, 85,000 KIDS DOWN FROM ABOUT 105,000 KIDS IN THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM. COULD WE, IN A VERY HUMAN WAY, WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF SKILL, MAKE IT AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD, AND THE ANSWER IN OUR OPINION IS, WELL, WE COULD.

>> AND YOU THINK DOING THAT IS IF WE CONSOLIDATE, RIGHT? SHARING RESOURCES?

>> YES, YES.

>> THIS IS AN IDEA WE'VE HEARD BEFORE FROM A PREVIOUS GOVERNOR.

>> ACTUALLY, YOU'VE HEARD MANY THINGS FROM MANY GOVERNORS AND THESE ARE IDEAS. OUR PARTNER HEIDI SHERMAN IN THE HOUSE TODAY THAT IS OFFERED UP LEGISLATION. SUSAN BARTLETT WORKS FOR THE GOVERNOR, DURING HER CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR, OFFERED UP SOME OF THESE IDEAS. CONSOLIDATION SIMPLY TO SAVE MONEY MAY BE A GOOD IDEA BUT NOT SOMETHING WE WOULD NECESSARILY SUPPORT, TO WHAT END. BETTER TO SAY, WHAT CONDITIONS COULD WE SET FOR CREATING THE BEST PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD, OR AT LEAST STRIVING FOR IT, ASPIRATIONAL MAYBE, AND THE ANSWER MIGHT BE DO WE HAVE THE RESOURCES TO OFFER UNIVERSAL PRE-K, OR FOR THOSE PARENTS WHO WANT IT, SOME FORM OF STRUCTURED, IF YOU WILL, BABYCARE. I DON'T MEAN EARLY ON, BUT CERTAINLY BEFORE PRE-K, THERE'S THIS INDUSTRY THAT'S GROWN UP AROUND IT. SHOULD WE BRING IT INTO SOME BROADER STRUCTURE AND HOW WOULD WE AFFORD THAT, AND TO BRING TO IT A LEVEL WE WOULD LIKE. WHAT WE'VE SAID IS, WHAT THE PRESIDENT -- THIS PRESIDENT HAS SAID AND BEFORE HIM PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID SOME YEARS AGO, WE'D FIND WAYS TO BRING MORE MONEY INTO THE CLASSROOMS. THERE ARE LOTS OF FOUNDATIONS TODAY THAT SAY THE SAME THINGS. SO OUR IDEAS START WITH THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF ADMINISTRATIVE CENTERS AND WE RANK HIGHLY IN TERMS OF ADMINISTRATORS PER STUDENT. COULD WE FIND A WAY TO GET MORE MONEY TO THE CLASSROOM. CONSIDER THIS. JUST ABOUT EVERY STUDY DONE IN THE LAST DECADE SAYS THAT THE QUALITY OF TEACHERS AND THE QUALITY OF THE PEOPLE THEY WORK FORK THE PRINCIPALS, ARE THE -- WORK FOR, THE PRINCIPALS, ARE THE TWO BIGGEST DETERMINANTS OF THE OUTCOME FOR OUR KIDS. THAT'S IT. OTHER THINGS SET ASIDE, A CLASSROOM THAT LOOKS WELL AND HANDLE THEMSELVES PHYSICALLY, BUT THE POINT IS THE TEACHERS AND THE PEOPLE WHO MANAGE THEM ARE THE KEY TO DETERMINING QUALITY. THE TRUTH IS WE HAVE A GREAT EDUCATION SYSTEM, BUT WE DON'T ACTUALLY FAY OUR TEACHERS ALL THAT WAY. BELOW THE NEW ENGLAND AVERAGE, BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE BY SOME SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT. 30-ODD STATES WORKING TOWARD A SYSTEM OF EVALUATING HOW TEACHERS ARE, HOW THEY DO, IN AN HONEST FAIR WAY, I MIGHT ADD. YOU KNOW, A COLLEGIAL PROCESS TO GET THERE. WE NEED TO DO THAT AS WELL AND THEN FIND A WAY TO PAY THE BEST.

>> YOU THINK THEN STRIPPING DOWN THE NUMBER OF ADMINISTRATORS IN THE STATE, USING THAT MONEY TO PAY OUR TEACHERS MORE IS WHAT THE GROUP IS PROPOSING?

>> WELL, PART OF IT. YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO FUND PRE-K, EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT. WE KNOW THE EARLIER YOU CAN GET THEM INTO SOME KIND OF SYSTEM, THE BETTER OFF CHILDREN WILL BE. WE TOOK A LOOK AT IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY. FIRST, WE BELIEVE THERE MIGHT BE SAVINGS, PROBABLY ARE, THOUGH THERE ARE SOME WHO SAY WE'VE LOOKED AND THERE AREN'T ANY, BUT WE'D LIKE TO SHRINK IT TO 15 OR 20 EDUCATIONAL UNITS.

>> DOWN FROM 50.

>> RIGHT, EXACTLY. THAT HELPS. THERE'S SOME SHARING OF RESOURCES, THAT HELPS. A DEEPER TALENT POOL, THAT HELPS. THE MATTER OF LOCAL CONTROL BOTHERS SOME. WE THINK WE'VE SOLVED IT, BUT IT'S WORTHY OF A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE DEFINITIONS OF LOCAL CONTROL. WE'VE ALSO SAID WE'D LIKE TO, IF YOU WILL, TURN THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM, WHICH SUPPORTS EDUCATION, UPSIDE DOWN. INSTEAD OF PRIMARILY THE STATE FEEDING OUT TO THE VARIOUS DISTRICTS, TO WITHIN THE 15 OR SO EDUCATIONAL DISTRICTS, HAVE MOST OF THE PROPERTY TAXES RAISED THERE AND THE STATE WOULD LEVEL IT OFF. WE THINK WE WOULD MEET THE OBLIGATIONS OF, IF YOU WILL, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND THAT WOULD GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY, TOO, TO FOCUS ON EQUAL OUTCOMES AS BEST WE CAN MANAGE. SO THERE'S PLENTY OF EVIDENCE IN THE COUNTRY THAT CHILDREN WHO ARE POOR OFTEN DON'T RECEIVE THE SAME KIND OF EDUCATION BECAUSE ISSUES IN THEIR HOME OR IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD OR EVEN EARLY STAGE DEVELOPMENT, AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, IT CAN HAPPEN IN MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AS WELL. THE QUESTION IS, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE THE BEST EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? WE THOUGHT THAT WAS ONE WAY TO CREATE MORE RESOURCES TO PUT INTO CLASSROOMS.

>> YOU MENTIONED ONE OF THE GOALS OF THE GROUP IS TO HAVE INFLUENCE.

>> YES.

>> I ASSUME INFLUENCE AMONG ELECTED OFFICIALS. WHY SHOULD A GROUP OF MAYBE 300 PEOPLE AND ONE WELL-FUNDED COFOUNDER INFLUENCE STATE POLICY BASED ON SOME IDEAS?

>> WHY SHOULD WE OR HOW DO WE?

>> WHY SHOULD YOU? WHY SHOULD 300 -- WHY SHOULD THIS GROUP HAVE SUCH IMPACT ON DEBATE IN MONTPELIER?

>> WELL, WHY NOT, I GUESS. OF COURSE, WE HAVE A RIGHT TO PETITION IN OUR LEGISLATURE AND CONGRESS TOO. BUT I DIDN'T CONSIDER -- YOU KNOW, THAT'S KIND OF EMBEDDED IN OUR RIGHTS. I WAS LOOKING AT IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY. COULD WE OFFER UP A PLATFORM FOR DISCUSSION, NONPARTISAN. IF WE DON'T LABEL EACH OTHER, MAYBE WE CAN HAVE A FULSOME DISCUSSION ABOUT THINGS, AND MY GUESS IS IN SIX MONTHS, WE'LL HAVE SUBSTANTIALLY MORE THAN 300 PEOPLE, 350 PEOPLE AS PARTNERS, AND WE HAVE SIGNIFICANT ACTIVITY IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA, AND WE'LL BE ABLE TO SAY IN SIX MONTHS, SOME SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST THERE. AND, I DON'T KNOW, 3 OR 4,000 PEOPLE RECEIVING OUR EMAIL BLASTS, GROWING JUST ABOUT EVERY DAY, SO MY GUESS IS MORE PEOPLE WILL BE WEIGHING IN ON CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT AND GIVING US GREATER WEIGHT. IS IT RIGHT, ARE YOU ASKING? I GUESS MY ANSWER IS, WELL, YES, I THINK IT IS. IT'S THE RIGHT OF ANY CITIZEN TO SAY LET'S PULL TOGETHER SOME IDEAS AND OFFER THEM. NO ONE HAS TO TAKE THEM, BUT I'M GUESSING THE LOGIC OF THEM, THE ASPIRATIONAL NATURE OF IT ARE SUCH THAT AT LEAST THEY WILL ENGAGE A DISCUSSION THAT SAYS NOT CONSOLIDATION JUST TO SAVE A FEW BUCKS OR HOLD PROPERTY TAXES DOWN, BUT RATHER, WOULD THAT HELP US ACCOMPLISH THIS NOTION THAT WE WANT TO HAVE THE BEST EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN THE WORLD. IT'S TERRIFIC NOW, MAYBE WE SHOULD LEAVE IT THERE. BUT I THINK AT LEAST AS IT RELATES TO EDUCATION, AND FRANKLY, SO MANY OTHER ISSUES IN MY OPINION, THAT AROUND US SWIRLS CHANGE. REALLY, RANDY WINEGARTEN, WHO'S THE PRESIDENT OF ANOTHER EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, ON THE DAY WE RELEASED CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT, HAD AN OP-ED THAT SUGGESTED BAR EXAMS FOR TEACHERS. SHE SAID SHE WAS A LAWYER AND A TEACHER AND SHE WAS MORE COMFORTABLE HER FIRST DAY AS A LAWYER THAN SHE WAS HER FIRST DAY AS A TEACHER. NEW YORK STATE HAS JUST SUGGESTED THAT. THAT'S ONE OF 15 OR 20 RECOMMENDATIONS THEY HAVE MADE. I THINK CHANGE SWIRLS AROUND US AND THIS IS A GREAT MOMENT TO K AS I MENTIONED AT THE BEGINNING, THINGS ARE CHANGED AND THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO IMAGINE DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING THINGS.

>> HOW WILL YOU MEASURE SUCCESS? WE'RE GETTING READY FOR THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION AND ALREADY WE'RE HEARING FROM LEADERS THAT PROPERTY TAX REFORM IS NOT ON THE AGENDA. AS YOU KNOW, THIS IDEA OF CONSOLIDATION HAS BEEN TALKED ABOUT OVER SEVERAL SESSIONS BY MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES, HAS NOT GONE ANYWHERE YET. PEOPLE REALLY LIKE THEIR LOCAL SUPERVISORY UNIONS. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO MEASURE SUCCESS?

>> WELL, I THINK SUCCESS COMES NOT MEASURED BY JUST ONE SESSION OR BY ONE YEAR, BUT BY IF OUR IDEAS ARE GOOD AND THERE'S LOGIC TO THEM AND BY SHINING A LIGHT ON THE CHALLENGES WE FACE, PEOPLE SAY WAIT A MINUTE, THAT'S AN INTERESTING NOTION. OVER TIME, WE'LL GATHER MORE PEOPLE THROUGH OUR THEMES AND EVENTUALLY WILL HAVE INFLUENCE IN MONTPELIER. IT'S FRANKLY NOT WHERE WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME TO . -- I GO THERE DURING THE SESSION AND NEAT WITH PEOPLE, AT LEAST IF THEY WANT TO MEET WITH US. I THINK OVER TIME YOU WILL SEE OUR INFLUENCE GROW. IT'S HARD TO ARGUE WITH A THEME OF CAN WE HAVE ONE OF THE VERY BEST PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD. AND IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR THEM? WELL, ANYTHING. WOULD YOU HAVE THE BEST EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD IF YOU COULD? IT RUNS DIRECTLY INTO OUR NOTIONS OF HOW DO YOU BUILD A DIVERSIFIED DYNAMIC ECONOMY. FIVE GOVERNORS IN A ROW, INCLUDING OUR CURRENT ONE, HAVE RIGHTFULLY SAID JOBS IS MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. IT IS IMPORTANT AND THEY DO SAY IT. ON THE OTHER HAND, OVER SOME PERIOD OF TIME, OUR POPULATION GROWTH HAS BEEN JUST ABOVE ZERO. OUR WORKFORCE HASN'T REALLY GROWN SINCE THE EARLY 2000s. PART OF THE POPULATION GROWING THE FASTEST ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE 65 AND OLDER. THE GROUP AGE 5 TO 17, AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION, RANKS 50th AND SHOWS ALMOST NO GROWTH. IN THOSE WHO WOULD CREATE NEW HOUSEHOLDS, 20 TO 40, ARE IN DECLINE IN OUR STATE, FROM 205,000 FOR 180,000 IN A 10 OR 12-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME. THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO CREATE HOUSEHOLDS AND HAVE CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS, AND WHAT WE'D LIKE TO DO IS ATTRACT MORE OF THEM, NOT LOSE THEM. ONE WAY, ONE OF MANY WAYS IS TO HAVE AMONG THE BEST PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEMS IN THE COUNTRY OR THE WORLD AND THAT WILL ATTRACT YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN HERE. IT'S NOT THE ONLY WAY, BUT IT'S A WAY. IT GETS TO ISSUES OF POVERTY AS WELL. NOT GOING TO SOLVE IT, BUT IT CAN ENABLE SOME SOLUTIONS.

>> SO A BETTER EDUCATION SYSTEM WOULD THEN STOP THE BRAIN DRAIN. I'M CURIOUS ABOUT ANOTHER TOPIC THAT'S GOING TO BE PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL AND THERE'S BEEN CALLS FOR A MORE RA TORE YOU MEAN. YOUR GROUP HAS COME OUT SAYING WE NEED A CLEANER, HEALTHIER, AND MORE AFFORDABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO IN THE STATE. WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON WIND POWER?

>> SHOULD THERE BE A MORATORIUM?

>> THERE SHOULD BE A REALLY GOOD DISCUSSION. ONE THING WE SAID IN OUR -- WE PUT OUT OUR ENERGY PIECE, IS -- AND I'VE SAID A COUPLE OF INTERVIEWS AND CERTAINLY EXPERIENCE, WE'RE IN FAVOR OF RENEWABLES AND WE'RE IN FAVOR OF RETAINING THE BEST OF VERMONT AND REGARDLESS OF WHAT I SAY HERE, I WOULDN'T BE HERE UNLESS I LOVED THE STATE AND YOU WOULDN'T EITHER. WE CHOOSE TO BE HERE, MAINLY. IS THERE A REASON TO MAKE IT BETTER, MORE INTERESTING, ALL THAT? OF COURSE. THE ISSUES AROUND ENERGY ARE QUITE COMPLEX, BUT TO SIMPLIFY IT QUICKLY, THE STATE IS VERY FOCUSED ON ELECTRICITY. IT'S ONLY 12 OR 15% OF THE TOTAL ENERGY PACKAGE --

>> WE JUST HAVE A FEW SECTIONS. I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE -- FEW SECONDS. I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE GET YOUR ANSWER. WIND MORATORIUM, WHERE DOES CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT STAND ON THAT ISSUE?

>> I DON'T KNOW IF WE NEED A MORATORIUM, BUT WE NEED A DISCUSSION BECAUSE ELECTRICITY RATES ARE THE HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY AND ALTERNATIVES HAVEN'T COME ON, AND THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT TRANSMISSION LINES ABOVE 20%, SO THE ANSWER IS WE NIDE TO CONSIDER HOW WE'RE INTRODUCING AND HOW MUCH WE'RE ASKING PEOPLE WHO WANT AFFORD IT, HOW MUCH THEY CAN SPEND.

>> BRUCE LISMAN, CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT, WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANKS SO MUCH.

>> HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY, TAKE CARE.

>> SEE YOU SOON.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Sen. Jim Jeffords laid to rest

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:12:17 GMT
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
    Sen. Jim Jeffords was one of Vermont's beloved public servants, with a career that took him from the hills of Shrewsbury to the U.S. Senate. Friday, in his hometown of Rutland, James Jeffords was laid to rest.
  • Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Is it safe to move accused killer Elizabeth Teague?

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:09:17 GMT
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
    The Vt. Dept. of Mental Health says scarce resources are part of the push to relocate alleged workplace shooter Elizabeth Teague to a facility with fewer regulations. Elizabeth Keatinge was at Friday's hearing.
  • Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Police investigate death of 13-year-old in Hardwick

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:10:40 GMT
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
    Investigators say a teen was found dead at a home in Hardwick Friday morning.
  • Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:12:45 GMT
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
  • NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    NY police try to ID pharmacy burglar

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:39:59 GMT
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
    New York State Police hope the public can help identify a burglar.
  • Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Williston police try to ID paint thief

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:11:41 GMT
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
    Police are investigating an unusual theft at the Wal-Mart in Williston.
  • Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Driver of overweight big rig nabbed in Vermont

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:20:31 GMT
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
    The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles says a trucker carrying part of a giant crane to a state bridge job had too much weight on his rig and too much alcohol in his system.
  • Wire fraud convict has until Friday to object

    Wire fraud convict has until Friday to object

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:29:05 GMT
    A Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town has reached the end of his allotted time to file objections to a pre-sentencing reporting.
    A Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town has reached the end of his allotted time to file objections to a pre-sentencing reporting.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.