Education Experts Voice their Concerns over Legislative Work on Education Funding Inequity


November 30, 2021

Please contact Maggie Lenz



Montpelier, VT., — On Monday the Coalition for Vermont Student Equity (CVTSE) hosted The Future of Equity in Vermont Education: A Panel Discussion. The panel considered the glaring inequities in Vermont’s current funding formula and the harms that have been caused to Vermont’s most struggling communities. They also discussed the discriminatory nature of the recent proposal to remove English language learners from the equity formula and their grave concerns over the pending recommendations of the Pupil Weighting Task Force. 50 people were in attendance, and there was a question and answer period at the end. Please use this link to watch the panel.


Nicole Mace is the Finance Manager at the Winooski School District. She has a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s degree in Public Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Nicole was the General Counsel and then Executive Director of the Vermont School Boards Association from 2011-2019. She is a parent of a 5th grader at JFK Elementary School in Winooski and has been a resident of Winooski since 2009. Nicole served on the Winooski City Council from 2015-2019.

Rep. Laura Sibilia was elected in 2014 and currently serves in the Vermont House of Representatives. She is the Vice Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee. Laura has lived in Southern Vermont for more than 30 years, and has served on the Dover School Board since 2003. She was a pioneering member of the new River Valleys School District Board in 2018, and has been working on the pupil weighting issue for many years.

Rory Thibault is the current chair of the Cabot School Board of Directors and also serves on the Caledonia Central Supervisory Union Board. Rory’s school board involvement began with Cabot’s Act 46 process. He served as the primary author of the Cabot School District Alternative Governance Structure proposal, which was ultimately accepted by the State Board of Education. During his time as a board member, Rory has focused on supporting Cabot School’s innovative approaches to public education, namely the integration of project based learning into all grade levels, and most recently increased collaboration with other districts within the enlarged supervisory union. Rory is the State’s Attorney for Washington County.

Dr. Alex Yin has been serving on the Winooski School Board since 2017. While on the board, he helped pass a $57.8 million dollar bond to build and renovate school facilities for an overcrowded district. He also has been an advocate in turning the cultural liaison positions in Winooski into a year-long position to help strengthen the relationship between the New American families and the school district. Alex is the Executive Director of Institutional Research at the University of Vermont, where he is responsible for the school’s data analytics

Ted Plemenos is the Chief Financial Officer for the Rutland City Public Schools. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Public and International Affairs, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Ted served as a financial executive for ExxonMobil Corporation for more than 30 years. His prior experience in education finance includes serving for two years as the Director of Finance and Administration for a division of Rice University, and volunteering for several years as an advisor to the board of trustees for an elementary and a middle school.

Moderator:  Kendra Sowers, CVTSE Board Chair