Education

The home for VPR's coverage of education issues and policy in Vermont.

The Education Team

Follow VPR reporters Amy Kolb Noyes and Howard Weiss-Tisman on Twitter for the latest on education issues across Vermont.

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Act 46 | Kids & Parenting | University Of Vermont | Vermont Legislature | Agency of Education

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Springfield High School Nurse Jenny Anderson stands outside a shut wood door that says HEALTH CLINIC on it.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Springfield School District will offer medical, dental and mental health services under an agreement recently reached with the nearby Springfield Medical Care Systems.

The exterior of Townshend Elementary School on a blue-sky day.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s public education system is at a crossroads — and school districts across the state are trying to determine a way forward in order to provide a 21st-century education to students in a rural state with declining enrollment. 

The painting "Red Square" by Helen Frankenthaler.
Bennington College, Courtesy

Bennington College will sell works of art from its collection to help kick off a new scholarship program.

The exterior of the Windham County Superior Court in Newfane.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The state wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges Vermont’s public education funding system.

The Windham County town of Whitingham, along with resident Madeline Klein and Sadie Boyd, a student in the town’s school system, filed the suit late last year.

A rendering of the proposed renovations to Burlington High School.
Burlington School District, Courtesy

Major renovations might be on the way for Burlington High School. On Monday, the City Council will hear a proposal for the $70 million bond that would pay for the work.

A row of classroom desks
mygueart / iStock

The Agency of Education has released a draft version of the articles of agreement that will be used by school districts that are forced to merge under Act 46.

Teacher Steve Butz, left, helps Lucas Kindel with an iPad that will take a 3D photo on a site Butz thinks dates back to the end of the 18th century.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

There’s a good chance that one of Vermont’s most important historical sites has been hidden away high on a mountaintop in Bennington County. And teacher Steve Butz has been spending the past five years trying to uncover it and let the world know what’s hidden there.

Dan French has worked in Vermont schools for more than 20 years. He took over the job of Secretary of Education on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.
Vermont Agency of Education, courtesy

Dan French took over the job of Vermont's Secretary of Education just last week, but he's no stranger to the state's schools: he's taught in the Northeast Kingdom and worked as a superintendent in Southern Vermont for nearly a decade.

We're talking with the state's new education secretary about merging districts, shrinking enrollment and his vision for Vermont’s schools. 

A national study commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that children who aren't proficiency by third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school.
Tolgart / iStock

Literacy is typically thought of as the ability to read and write, but experts say it’s a much broader skill set, encompassing vocabulary, storytelling and more.  We look at early childhood literacy and what’s being done in Vermont to get children ready to read, write and communicate well before they reach school age.

Shirts with Vermont Law School on them hang in Barrister's Book Shop in downtown South Royalton.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In South Royalton, there’s a great craft beer bar, a bustling food co-op and a new coffee shop opening — but just about anyone you ask will tell you the town’s economic future depends on a healthy Vermont Law School.

How To Make A Civics Education Stick

Aug 14, 2018

How do you teach kids to be active participants in government? Or to tell the difference between real news and fake news?

In their last legislative sessions, 27 states considered bills or other proposals that aim to answer these questions. Many of those proposals are rooted in popular ideas about the best ways to teach civics, including when kids should start, what they should learn and how to apply those lessons. Here's a look at some of those concepts.

Book lovers, get ready for a slew of reading suggestions on "Vermont Edition."
Ric Cengeri / VPR

Think of all the people you've met, places you've traveled, dishes you've tasted. All in the pages of the books you've read. Vermont Edition presents our summer reading show to introduce you to more new worlds by offering a tome of book recommendations.

Dan French, at podium, with Gov. Phil Scott in the background.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says his pick to serve as the state’s new secretary of education will help his administration curb spending growth in public schools.

Information sheets on PFAS sit on Grafton Elementary School Principal Liz Harty's desk. The school is one of two with levels of the chemicals above the state's safe drinking water standard.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two Vermont schools have levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) above Vermont’s safe drinking water standard.

Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont is trying out a program where some students will receive reduced tuition in exchange for a percentage of their income for a set time after they graduate.
Patti Daniels / VPR File

If you’re going to college this fall, instead of taking out a student loan to help pay tuition, how about getting some money up front from your school? But there's a catch: Your school will take a percentage of your income for a set amount of time after you graduate.

According to a 1996 sudy, students lose an average of two months worth of knowledge over summer break every year.
Baona / iStock

Anyone who's been through school remembers the glory of summer vacation -- and the blues of the following fall. Well that slow return to school is actually a documented phenomenon with a name: the "summer slide."

An illustration of a row of houses with a green background.
filo / iStock

The Vermont Department of Taxes was not able to process all of the property tax adjustment claims in time to meet a July 1 deadline. As a result, towns that sent out their tax bills on that date may have sent the wrong information to property owners.

So far, more than 250 schools have applied for state grant money to improve their security infrastructure.
Kameleon007 / iStock

This spring, the state conducted a wide ranging survey on the security of its schools in response to an alleged attempted school shooting and allocated $4 million in grants for those schools to improve their security. Now the money is available and grant applications have been pouring in.

Vermont Law School sign on a fall day in October 2012.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press FIle

There is turmoil at Vermont Law School following the news that tenure has been revoked for 14 out of 19 faculty members at the South Royalton institution. A recent VTDigger article revealed the 75 percent reduction in tenured faculty as part of a plan to help restructure finances that have taken a hit from ongoing budget deficits.

Ninety school districts - about a quarter of Vermont’s communities - have proposed meeting Act 46’s goals through collaboration rather than formal merger.

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