In a remarkable show of his priorities, Gov. Phil Scott has proposed a first-in-the-nation minimum student-to-staff ratio. In an even more remarkable show of how little his administration feels about the jobs of educators, his finance commissioner, Adam Greshin, told VT Digger: "I don't accept the argument that a school job lost is a net loss of a job in the wider community."
In other words, the governor's scheme to slash 4,100 jobs is AOK with the administration. Below is a recent release sent to the state's media.
Governor Scott’s Latest Ratio Scheme Hits Students Harder and Leads to More Than 4,000 Lost Jobs
Economic analysis predicts massive cuts that will shortchange generations of Vermont students
MONTPELIER – As the governor prepares to deliver his annual budget address, his proposal to enforce an arbitrary student-to-staff ratio will lead to massive cuts that will shortchange students and lead to the loss of 4,100 middle class jobs, according to an analysis prepared by economists at the National Education Association.
When the governor first proposed his first-in-the-nation scheme last month, he claimed it would not hurt students. In fact, the analysis concludes the governor’s plan depends on a hiring freeze that will lead to 4,151 lost jobs between now and 2021. Those thousands of Vermonters put out of work under the governor’s plan live in every community in the state. The analysis calculated that among those losing their jobs will be 1,710 teachers and 2,442 education support professionals.
“It is impossible to build the country’s best education system when you slash support for students and throw thousands of middle class Vermonters out of work,” said Martha Allen, a school librarian from Canaan who serves as president of Vermont-NEA. “The governor says he wants to protect our most vulnerable, especially those who are facing the ravages of the opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, his dangerous scheme will hit our most vulnerable children the hardest.”
According to the analysis, it will take four years to reach the scheme’s target. Along the way it will result in dramatically larger class sizes in many communities while cutting resources Vermont’s students depend on by more than $250 million a year.
“We need to ensure that all kids get a quality education. Slashing resources and laying off 4,100 educators will hurt our students and make it harder – not easier – for them to succeed,” Allen said. “If this scheme isn’t stopped, middle class Vermonters will be out of work, our schools will suffer, and, worst of all, our students will be robbed of the futures they deserve.”
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