House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passage of a property tax reform package is a top priority for this session
Angela Evancie / VPR file

A proposal is being developed representing the first major change to education financing in Vermont in over a decade, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's committed to making it a reality.

Ian Noyes / For VPR

Montpelier High School is flying a Black Lives Matter flag this month to mark Black History Month and that action has triggered some strong reactions. School administrators say the feedback, both positive and negative, has strengthened their resolve.

An empty wooden desk facing a chalkboard.
Miatagirl / iStock

A new plan being developed by the Vermont House Committee on Ways and Means could make some significant changes to how Vermont finances education. The plan would shift some of the burden from property taxes to income taxes.

House Ways and Means chairwoman Janet Ancel is hopeful that this is the year for lawmakers to consider a new plan to fund education
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont House Committee on Ways and Means is taking a serious look at making some significant changes in the way education is financed in the state.

Students at Dover Elementary School gathered in the library to discuss Kelly Barnhill's novel "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" and posed with the paper birds they made.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Students at Dover Elementary are trying their hands at making origami birds. Paper birds like these play an interesting role in Kelly Barnhill’s fantastical novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon. The birds in the book are magical, and they can be both helpful and vicious.

Montpelier High School's board has voted unanimously to fly the Black Lives Matter flag in February.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

During the month of February, Montpelier High School will fly a Black Lives Matter flag outside the school.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, center, flanked by Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, say they have concerns with Gov. Phil Scott's approach to the issue of cost-containment in public schools.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

With an executive branch in Republican hands, and a Legislature overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, ideological conflict is part and parcel of state government these days. And it became clear Tuesday afternoon where that partisan divide is widest.

The Vermont Statehouse with snow around it.
Henry Epp / VPR File

The Vermont Senate Committee on Education is considering a bill that would allow students in religious high schools to use the state's dual enrollment program.

Clean water. Good schools. Two excellent reasons to live in Vermont. But it’s easy to take them for granted.

Howard Weiss-Tisman/VPR

The State Board of Education on Wednesday voted to suspend its rulemaking around how approved independent schools admit students with disabilities.

Black River High School Middle School with a snowy lawn and a sign out front that says Our School, Our Community.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Black River High School students, from Ludlow and Mount Holly, have been studying together at Black River since middle school. But unless a vote held in November is reversed, their school could be closing before some of these students graduate.

Middlebury College has been at the center of some fierce debates over speech and diversity on campus this past year. Back in March, Charles Murray - a social scientist whose ideas are viewed by many as racist - was shouted down on campus, and a violent confrontation followed his talk. The incident focused national attention on the college.

Vermont has a very high rate of special education students categorized as having an "emotional disturbance."
GlenJ / iStock

Vermont has the highest rate in the country of students identified as having an "emotional disturbance." We're talking about what is actually covered by that term, and what's being done inside and out of the state's special education system to help the kids who need it most.

Flags in the School for International Training dining hall, pictured here in February 2017.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

The School for International Training will be slashing staff at its campus in Brattleboro.

SIT opened in 1964 and was one of the first schools to stress international learning with a focus on overseas travel and study.

I wrapped up the fall semester at the Community College of Vermont by asking my students to react to “Imagining Vermont,” a report from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. It was a Vermont History Course and since it was online, it drew students from across the state, who concluded their study with thoughts about both their own future and that of the state.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott used his State of the State address Thursday to telegraph a forthcoming plan that would eliminate a 7-cent increase in statewide property tax rates next year.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

Gov. Phil Scott used his State of State Address Thursday to telegraph a potentially dramatic proposal for education funding in Vermont, saying he stands ready to block a 7-cent jump in next year’s statewide property tax rates.

Upward view of the Vermont Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Citizen legislators from across Vermont return to the Statehouse Wednesday morning for the second half of the legislative biennium, and many lawmakers are preparing for an unusually busy year in Montpelier.

The Cabot School Board unanimously approved filing an Alternative Governance Structure proposal with the Vermont Agency of Education to maintain its pre-K through 12 school.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

School Directors in Cabot are asking the state to approve a plan that would keep the town’s high school open and market the school to out-of-state students.

There was no agreement on how public special education money would be used by an independent school once  a student with a disability is admitted.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

A legislative committee was not able to come up with a framework under which all approved independent schools would admit students with disabilities.

These Hyde Park fifth graders took a bus ride to the Green Mountain Technology and Career Center to talk about The Littlest Bigfoot with a group of sixth graders. The sixth grade is at GMTCC while Hyde Park Elementary School is undergoing renovations.
Meg Malone / VPR

If you were listening closely a few weeks ago in northern Vermont, you may have heard what sounded like a secret colony of "Bigfoots." But no, it was just a group of Hyde Park Elementary School students acting like the characters in The Littlest Bigfoot.