Scott signs bill that changes how Vermont divvies up money for education

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 5:50 PM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 7:33 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill that would update the state’s pupil weighting system that determines how education funding is distributed.

Right now, the state spends a roughly equal amount of money on every student in Vermont, regardless of where they go to school.

But a 2019 UVM study showed economically disadvantaged students and English language learners should be funded at a higher rate.

The bill at the governor’s desk does that. Scott says he signed it and believes it’s a good first step, but he has questions.

“Some of my concerns in the future-- and I’ll be putting a letter together with that-- is just where is the money coming from? Is it going to increase the cost of education? It’s not as though we don’t spend enough in the state, $2 billion to educate 80,000 kids,” said Scott, R-Vermont.

The bill calls for pupil weights to be updated by 2025 with limits on how much property tax rates can increase in the years that follow.

In his letter to the General Assembly, Scott notes that new spending capacity doesn’t equal a better outcome. He says the bill risks increasing the cost of the education system. He says we must improve student outcomes while also ensuring Vermonters can afford it.

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