Education

Education is necessary not just to live a satisfying and productive life, but also to participate meaningfully as a citizen in our democracy. Vermont is fortunate that its public school financing system provides an adequate, sustainable source of funding and is fairer to both taxpayers and pupils than any other system in the country. Vermont needs to ensure the continued integrity and health of its school funding system and provide a way to make college accessible and affordable to all Vermonters.

IN FOCUS
August 3, 2017

Economist Art Woolf wrote recently that Vermont spends too much on education because taxes are too low for many residents. Woolf was referring specifically to resident homeowners who qualify to pay school taxes as a percentage of their income rather than on the value of their property. According to Woolf, because their income-based taxes are less than their property taxes would be, these homeowners feel like education in Vermont is on sale, so they’re buying more of it.

One problem with Woolf’s hypothesis is that it assumes that the value of a primary residence is a fair and rational indicator of how much each Vermonter should be contributing to the education of our children. It may have been 200 years ago, when the value of a person’s property and possessions was the best measure of his ability to pay. But that isn’t true today, and the system should be brought up to date with today’s economy.

Publications

Act 60 turns 20
6/27/17 - Op-ed
A Framework for Progress
9/6/16 - Report