Your Public Schools - Vermont's Most Important Resource
You helped keep challenges local -- Shumlin announces demand for $19 million aid for local schools, non-enforcement of Challenges for Change cuts
Challenges for Change Action Materials
Write a letter to the editor!
When you think of Vermont, you think of our state’s incredible natural beauty – our rivers, streams, mountains and forests that define our state. But our state has another centuries-old resource that is every bit as much a part of life in the Green Mountain State – your local public schools.
This most important of home-grown resources is under attack from Montpelier. Through the so-called Challenges for Change process, politicians from both sides of the aisle are “suggesting” across-the-board cuts ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $2 million in each of our school districts, and this comes a year after you and local voters managed to trim budgets to levels lower than the year before.
Just as we can’t stand idly by and watch the bit-by-bit erosion of our environment, we can’t watch our schools suffer cuts that, cumulatively and over time, will lead to the erosion of our most important resource. Montpelier believes it knows better how to run your local schools – but we know otherwise.
All of us who care about our local public schools – a resource that is producing student achievement at the highest levels in the nation – must work to protect them, as we do our natural environment. While the cut in your district may be a portion of a music teacher; or the elimination of a basic math class; or a Latin class, they all add up, and they are all cuts that hurt our state’s students – and our state’s future.
You can take a stand. First, the “Challenges for Change” cuts are not mandatory. Second, your communities and school boards are still responsible for your schools. Third, you need to help school boards stand up to Montpelier’s undermining of Vermont’s local public schools.
The biggest dangers of Challenges for Change budgeting are cumulative. A cut here, a cut there, and, before you know it, real and permanent damage will be done.
Like our natural environment, we can’t let one of Vermont’s premiere assets slip away, because once it’s gone, it’s gone: no more top-scores; no more locally accountable schools; no more distinction between Vermont and the rest of the nation. It can happen, and it will happen – unless we all fight to protect our local public schools.
Earlier this year, your school was given a target amount of money to slash. We want you to tell us what programs would be cut if that target were met. With that list of cuts, we’ll have a clear picture of what they will really mean to Vermont’s students, communities, schools and economic future.
Don’t let Montpelier put more schools and students at risk. Stand up to this blatant assault on our local public schools and our future.
The Green Mountain State is a wonderful place to live, in large part because of our beautiful and sustainable natural environment – and because of your local public schools. They are the state’s most important resource.