The challenges of “right sizing” and funding our system for a shrinking student body defy easy answers, but I continue to advocate for smart solutions.
I voted NO on Act 46, anticipating the difficulties for our rural communities. When it passed, I co-sponsored legislation for extensions of the deadlines, the incentives, and options to help districts comply.
In our district, communities met and debated fiercely the pros and cons of merging governance and with whom, which Supervisory Union to join, and the terms to do so. Rupert and Pawlet struggled hard over the question of expanding school choice or designating high schools in Salem and Granville. I believe that question is ultimately a local decision, so although I have my own opinion, as a non-resident of either town, I did not advocate either position.
The votes were taken and re-taken and each time, the majority decided for choice. State approval, new boards and budgets are in place in all towns and we move forward, not back, from here.
In the legislature I have proposed several amendments related to the education fund and what that money is spent on in efforts to simplify the budget. I also co-sponsored a bill to shift education funding from property taxes to income taxes (which is essentially what income sensitivity does but in a roundabout way).