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Vt. coalition pushes for school funding equity

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont educators from rural school districts are putting pressure on lawmakers to adjust school funding formulas.

A key legislative task force is drafting recommendations to lawmakers next session on how the state distributes money to local school districts. Their work is aimed at advancing educational equity for students from lower-income and rural schools.

Vermont schools are funded through the state’s Education Fund, a formula based on per-pupil weights. The Coalition for Vermont Student Equity says increasing the weights for some students will level the playing field.

“The pain is real for students and parents, and if we’re going to have students have that access to education with real equitable outcomes we have to be able to give them the resources to access that education,” said Springfield School District Superintendent Zach McLaughlin.

Direct grants to districts have also been floated as a potential solution, but advocates say those can change year to year depending on annual budget cycles.

A final report to the Legislature is due in December.

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