The most noble use of our hard-earned tax dollars is to fund the education of our children. As parents, grandparents and citizens our hopes, our dreams and our future are invested in the belief that our public schools will enable our children to obtain a quality education. We entrust our governor and legislators with the responsible collection and usage of our tax dollars for this purpose. It should be a sacred trust.
Last year Gov. Shumlin and a majority of our elected legislators violated this trust by raiding the Education Fund for the sum of $27 million. This plundering of the Education Fund was required so our elected officials could pay for overspending in the General Fund. This heinous action had the effect of raising our statewide property taxes significantly and put pressure on local boards to level-fund local school budgets by cutting essential teaching services.
When I hear the governor, or any of his minions, speak about the need for education restructuring and consolidation of our educational system, I cannot help but think he is speaking with a forked tongue or he simply has no idea about what he is talking about. His plan to consolidate the supervisory unions in the state under Act 153 stinks of a political power grab that has nothing to do with educating our children or saving money. Quite to the contrary, research from other state’s experiments with supervisory union and school consolidation indicates massive increases in administrative spending, massive increases in taxes and decreases in student achievement. Removing control of education from local boards and citizens is the wrong direction for our children. This is not the path that Vermont needs to go down.
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