The Equal Educational Opportunity Act, better known as Act 60, is 20 years old on Monday. On June 26, 1997, at an outdoor ceremony in Whiting, Gov. Howard Dean signed into law Vermont’s unique and groundbreaking education funding system.

As we face tensions over school consolidation and who should determine teachers’ health insurance benefits, it’s worth remembering what Vermont has already achieved in school funding.

Vermont has taken a huge step toward solving a problem that still plagues other states: educational disparities between kids born into wealthy communities and those in cities and towns with less wealth and fewer educational resources.

Most Vermont counties are below average—at least when it comes to wages. The latest annual figures for 2016 show that only three counties had annual wages higher than the state average. Workers did worst in Orleans, Essex, and Grand Isle counties, where annual wages came in at more than 20 percent below the state average.       Manufacturing decline All corners of the state have seen a drop in manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years. Overall, about a third of the jobs have disappeared, falling from about 45,000 in 2001 to about 30,000 last year. Read more

In many ways, Vermont women are stuck.

Stuck in the same professions as 40 years ago.

Stuck with higher rates of poverty, both for single mothers with young children and for the elderly.

Stuck with wages persistently below men’s.

Stuck with limited opportunities for leadership and lower rates of business ownership.

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The latest:
Per-Pupil Education Spending and Tax Rates, Fiscal 2016

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