Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Heather Eagan

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Education and Social Services

Program/Major

Secondary Education

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Title

School District Consolidation in Vermont: Are Larger School Districts Able to Provide Students with the Most Equitable Education Compared to Smaller School Districts and What Implication Does This Have on the Future of Education in Vermont

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

Public school districts in Vermont are currently facing the mandate of ACT 46, a bill that was voted into law in June of 2015 which requires modifications be made to education funding, spending, and policies. For many districts this means government facilitated district consolidation. The driving force behind ACT 46 is that property taxes are rising at an unsustainable rate. In response to this, district consolidation is aimed at lowering costs for Vermont taxpayers. Much of the argument for consolidation is based on a business model of reducing cost for maximum output while it remains unknown how much a good education costs per student. Schools in Vermont are often looked upon as the community center of small towns, therefore providing an essential role in the social structure of these communities. Those who are against consolidation often argue that it is inequitable and will be removing local voices from the decision-making process. The guiding question to our research is whether or not larger school districts are able to provide a better education for their students in comparison to smaller school districts. We also want to explore what implications district consolidation has on the future of education in Vermont. The methodology of our research is to analyze school district consolidation in Vermont by looking at it through the literature, an by examining Vermont school budgets and school performance, and conducting interviews with key stakeholders in Vermont.

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School District Consolidation in Vermont: Are Larger School Districts Able to Provide Students with the Most Equitable Education Compared to Smaller School Districts and What Implication Does This Have on the Future of Education in Vermont

Public school districts in Vermont are currently facing the mandate of ACT 46, a bill that was voted into law in June of 2015 which requires modifications be made to education funding, spending, and policies. For many districts this means government facilitated district consolidation. The driving force behind ACT 46 is that property taxes are rising at an unsustainable rate. In response to this, district consolidation is aimed at lowering costs for Vermont taxpayers. Much of the argument for consolidation is based on a business model of reducing cost for maximum output while it remains unknown how much a good education costs per student. Schools in Vermont are often looked upon as the community center of small towns, therefore providing an essential role in the social structure of these communities. Those who are against consolidation often argue that it is inequitable and will be removing local voices from the decision-making process. The guiding question to our research is whether or not larger school districts are able to provide a better education for their students in comparison to smaller school districts. We also want to explore what implications district consolidation has on the future of education in Vermont. The methodology of our research is to analyze school district consolidation in Vermont by looking at it through the literature, an by examining Vermont school budgets and school performance, and conducting interviews with key stakeholders in Vermont.