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 2,700 jobs is AOK with the administration. Below is a recent release sent to the state's media.
Governor Scott’s Latest Education Proposal Would Put Thousands of Vermonters Out of Work
Slashing 2,700 jobs is a curious way to create jobs and support students
MONTPELIER (Dec. 13, 2017) – Gov. Phil Scott’s plan to slash resources for our state’s students would put nearly 2,700 hard-working Vermonters out of work, according to numbers furnished by his education secretary.
Last week, the governor suggested that the state should consider mandating a minimum student-to-staff ratio that would be the first of its kind in the nation.
“That’s a first our students don’t deserve,” said Martha Allen, a K-12 librarian from Canaan who serves as president of Vermont-NEA. “At a time when the governor says he wants the nation’s best education system, it makes no sense to propose doing less for our students.”
The governor’s proposal will particularly hurt those students whose families are facing the ravages of the opioid epidemic; who are living in poverty; whose first language isn’t English; who are disabled and are on individualized education plans; and who rely on one-on-one interaction with educators.
The proposal will also be detrimental to the economy. In the most recent report on job creation in Vermont, about 3,300 jobs were created in October. A layoff of 2,700 educators would all but wipe out those job gains – and would be the equivalent number of jobs lost if Global Foundries in Essex Jct. were to close.
“For a governor who made growing our economy and creating jobs a centerpiece of his agenda, slashing nearly 3,000 jobs is a most curious way of creating jobs,” Allen said. “We’ve had enough of his DC-style politics that promises ‘big, once-in-a-generation’ savings but in reality only shortchanges Vermont’s children.”
(Note: We calculated the job losses associated with the governor’s scheme using data on school employment and student counts provided by Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe in her memo last month to school boards urging them to reduce the number of educators in their schools.)
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