Published on Vermont Digger
From the recently released study done by Lawrence O. Picus and Associates, a study commissioned by the Legislature last spring, we know that how the money gets into the Education Fund is equitable across all Vermont towns and cities, that a penny on the tax rate does indeed raise the same amount of money in all towns. We also know that when money is distributed on an equalized per pupil basis that spending also has achieved equity.
But we do not know from the Picus study whether that equity of input of money to the Education Fund purchases equal educational opportunity for all Vermont’s children as required by the Supreme Court in “Brigham,” “that to fulfill its constitutional obligation the State must ensure substantial equality of educational opportunity throughout Vermont.”
To address that question, the towns of Dover and Wilmington, home of some of Vermont’s many, many small schools, believe from the many years of crafting their school budgets under the constraints of Act 60/68 that the equity of input to education funding does not buy equal education opportunity for its children. Therefore, the two towns commissioned a study by Northern Economic Consulting of Westford, Vt., to find out. That study was released on Jan. 16.