CVTSE Issues Statement in Response to a Legislative Proposal on Educational Funding Equity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2021
Contact: Marc Schauber
The Coalition for Vermont Student Equity Issues Statement in Response to a Legislative Proposal on Educational Funding Equity
“As an organization that is solely focused on creating equitable educational opportunities for all of Vermont’s children, we are deeply appreciative of the work done by the legislative Task Force on the Implementation of the Pupil Weighting Factors Report, and we support some of their recommendations. Specifically, we support the recommendation to correct the flawed pupil weighting formula. This will allow the state to accurately measure student needs and allocate resources to school districts. For the past 20-plus years, districts all over the state have struggled to fund their schools because the formula that accounts for needs and allocates education funds has been broken.
We do, however, remain staunchly opposed to the task force’s alternative proposal that would take Vermont backwards to a system that Vermont abandoned decades ago because it contributed to vast inequities in our education funding. This solution was aptly named the Reverse Foundation Formula by Professor Tammy Kolbe. By presenting this so-called “cost equity” proposal, the Task Force is attempting to overhaul the entire education funding system. But the entire system isn’t broken. According to a research report published in 2019 by University of Vermont and Rutgers University, the pupil weights must be corrected to accurately account for student needs across the state. This is a distribution issue, plain and simple.
Another problematic aspect of this legislative proposal is the removal of English language learners from the equity formula. Our coalition is advocating for the pupil weights to be corrected for every student: those in poverty, those attending small schools and rural schools, and those who are English language learners. Regardless of the intent, removing English language learners from the equity formula and funding their education separately with unreliable grants is discriminatory. We look forward to working with the legislature in January to correct this measure, implement the correct funding formula and create equitable educational opportunities for all of Vermont’s children.”
The Coalition for Vermont Student Equity is composed of member school districts/supervisory unions and school board members from various communities and districts across the state. While we come from communities that couldn’t look more different from one another, we have come together around our common belief that all of Vermont’s children deserve equitable educational opportunities. But Vermont’s education funding methodology is outdated and must be corrected in order to provide these equitable educational opportunities to all of Vermont’s kids. We believe that education is a key component in helping children thrive and succeed and that education provides huge benefits economically to our state by ensuring we have a skilled and well-educated workforce.