Analyst weighs in on impact of Vt. Ed Secretary Holcombe's departure

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Will the sudden resignation of Vermont's education secretary hurt school district consolidation plans in the state? A political analyst weighs in.

Our Darren Perron sat down with political analyst Dennise Casey who served in the Douglas Administration to find out. Watch the video to see the interview.

Reporter Darren Perron: Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe announced she is stepping down, what do you make of this?

Dennise Casey/Political Analyst: You know, it's not particularly surprising given the kind of work that she has been required to do. She's been at the helm for about four years now under two governors and really leading this initiative Act 46 and the implementation of consolidation very tough issues. As you know, we have struggled with education and education reform for decades now. Act 60 and Act 68 were immediately looked to for reform almost right after they passed. So, it's not surprising that she has decided to move on, this is really tough work.
Darren Perron: What about the timing though? She did not give much of a notice. She's done on April first.
Dennise Casey: Yeah, it's not unusual for cabinet secretaries or department heads to transition quickly. It tends to be the kind of thing that once a decision is made, it's really now time for the governor and his team to look to make a replacement to keep the work moving forward.
Darren Perron: So, you mentioned school consolidation and Act 46, this is a top priority for Governor Phil Scott. There's a looming June first deadline, talking about whether school boards will still be viable here. Does this throw a wrench here in this work?
Dennise Casey: Yeah and what the governor has said is that he believes that he can continue to move this work forward. He's made education reform and property tax affordability signature issues. So, my guess is that his team is laser-focused on getting an interim and then a permanent replacement in place as quickly as possible so that they don't lose ground.
Darren Perron: Dennise Casey. Thank you.
Dennise Casey: Thanks.