Hallquist Calls For Changing Public School Funding To An Income-Based Model

Oct 10, 2018

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist outlined some aspects of her education platform on Wednesday in Burlington, saying she supports a change in how public schools are funded.

Right now about two-thirds of Vermont homeowners pay their school taxes based on their income and not the value of their property. Hallquist wants to use that system for everyone.

She said the change will create a tax system that's based on Vermonters' ability to pay, but also said she would not make these changes overnight.

“My experience in life with business is, you gotta be careful when you make radical changes," Hallquist said. "Do it in steps so you can, you know, fix any unforeseen problems."

The Vermont Legislature considered this idea during the last session, but it did not get out of committee.

When it comes to school consolidation, Hallquist says she does not support mandatory school mergers.

“I am totally against penalizing schools for not merging. ... In general, I don't think we should be closing our community's schools because we're actually going to make our economic situation much worse than it is today," she said. "And we already have a problem with people fleeing Vermont."

Hallquist says Act 46 lets schools come up with alternatives to merging and that she would work with communities to develop plans that let them keep their schools open.