Pollina says his plan is needed because more and more Vermont families can’t afford to send their children to one of the 5 colleges in the Vermont State College system.  And he says many students who do go to college are saddled with huge student loan debt.

Currently, tuition and room and board is almost $20,000 a year and the cost of tuition represents about half of the total expense.

Pollina points out that in 1980, the State Colleges got roughly half of their overall budget from the state but he says this percentage has fallen dramatically.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

More than 500 high-school girls converged on Vermont Technical College in Randolph Thursday to get real-world experience in male-dominated fields such as firefighting, welding, construction, and auto mechanics.

The event, Women Can Do, is in its 15th year this year and grew by about 100 participants. Tiffany Bluemle, executive director of Vermont Works for Women, the non-profit that puts on the event, said the point is to show young Vermont women a part of the workforce that women typically aren’t in.

Champlain Valley Superintendent's Association

Almost 200 people filled the auditorium of Burlington High School Wednesday night to weigh-in on a new school calendar proposed by the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association.

Responding to community pushback, the superintendents will not implement the calendar for the 2014-2015 school year.

Speaker after speaker took the mic to oppose a new school calendar for northwestern Vermont. This was the third of four public forums on the issue.

The Children's Literacy Foundation is making grants to rural libraries in Vermont and New Hampshire so they can buy books and hold storytelling presentations for local children.

Each grant includes money for storytelling presentations and books that will be chosen by the town librarian.

In addition to the money for the books, each local elementary school library receives a selection of 25 new books and daycare centers receive 15 books.

For the past two years the academic community has been abuzz over Massive Open Online Courses – known as MOOCs. Now Community College of Vermont is testing the MOOC waters.

MOOCs are often free online courses with no prerequisites.  Typically no credit or certification is offered when the course is completed.

“That’s a very different model from your standard online college credit course,” says  Eric Sakai, Community College of Vermont’s Dean of Academic Technology.

AP/ Toby Talbot

The Burlington School District is the most diverse in the state. But the district has been criticized for not providing an equal education experience to minority students, especially those who are not native English speakers.

Burlington’s English Language Learner program was recently evaluated, and now the district is taking those recommendations into account.

Burlington’s status as a U.S. refugee resettlement city makes the city home to families from all over the world. When refugee families arrive, not all speak English.

I started learning French in fifth grade but for most of the rest of middle school our regular teacher was replaced by a sub who could barely say “bojour.” Now that I'm a parent, I hesitate to admit that, for fun, my class made up fake verbs - complete with fake conjugations - to further confuse her.

In high school and a college class, I learned actual French verbs in an array of tenses which I never actually used. So, for me, French was pretty much a bust.

The Windham Central Supervisory Union has canceled a five-town vote on whether to form a Unified Education District.

The vote was originally scheduled for Tuesday, October 8. The measure called for five southern Vermont towns to dissolve their school boards and create a single Unified Education District Board.

That vote was canceled when the state board of education reversed its earlier approval of the agreement signed by the five-town committee studying the issue.

Last year, I spent about $800 on things I didn't need. I've just started my third year of university, and the job I had paid nowhere near enough for me to be spending that much on recreational shopping, so you might well wonder why I did it.

And that's a good question.

When I saw my account after my final exams, my first thought was just to be grateful that I hadn't gone broke. But then I started to wonder how I could have let so much money drain away. I hadn't even realized it and I couldn't understand how I could have been so careless.

The number of rapes reported at the University of Vermont nearly doubled from 2011 to 2012, a new report shows. UVM officials reported 12 "forcible rapes" in 2012 in an annual public safety report released this week. School officials reported seven in 2011.

Mobile Users: View interactive graphic on

Stowe Free Library / Flickr

Tue 9/24/13 Noon & 7PM Last session the legislature mandated that all students in grades 7 through 12 develop personalized learning plans. What does that mean exactly? Some schools around the state have been experimenting with personalized learning for a while, and Mount Abraham  High School in Bristol is one of them.

AP/Toby Talbot

Vermont's new secretary of education says the state's system for funding schools isn't perfect, but is the most progressive in the country.

The comment came from Rebecca Holcombe Thursday as Governor Peter Shumlin announced her appointment to the state's top education job. 

Following the announcement, Shumlin summarized the challenge facing Vermont’s education system.

AP/ Toby Talbot

Ever since the possibility of a U.S. strike on Syria in response to that country’s apparent use of chemical weapons, the conflict has leaped into the spotlight of the news cycle.

But Syria was relegated to more of an afterthought until talk of a U.S. attack, even though the conflict has been raging for over two years now and has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives.

Congressman Peter Welch is pushing legislation that would make federal student load and grant programs more flexible, in response to the new ways in which students pursue college educations.

Welch joined with Vermont State Colleges officials on Monday to announce his introduction of the Flexibility to Innovate for College Affordability Act.

The legislation would give students the freedom to use federal grants and loans for accelerated degree completion, competency based learning, competency testing and dual enrollment.

VPR/ Charlotte Albright

The Vermont Legislature has a challenging assignment for schools this fall. By January, a working group of educators must decide how to implement a new law requiring secondary students to design “personal learning plans.” The aim is to match schooling  with a student’s career goals.

VPR/John Dillon

For spaces that are supposed to be quiet, there was a lot of talking going on at the library on Tuesday.

The occasion was a news conference, held in five different libraries around the state but brought together in a virtual space

Fourteen libraries have installed new videoconferencing technology that will allow their patrons to connect to their community and the world beyond Vermont.

The latest Adequate Yearly Progress Report for Vermont schools has been released and it shows that the majority of schools are still working on improvement.

A key component holding Vermont schools back is the achievement gap between students of moderate or higher income and those from lower income families.

Bill Mathis is a member of the state board of education. He says additional funding is needed for children from this lower socio-economic group.

St. Johnsbury’s School Board has decided to require all public classrooms to hang a flag and make time for the pledge of allegiance.

Currently, teachers may choose whether or not to start the day that way.

Vermont is one of a handful of states that does not require the pledge of allegiance to be recited in public schools. But even in the many states that do require it, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that students and teachers may not be compelled to participate.

VPR/Susan Keese

A 140-year history has ended for the North Bennington Graded School.

Residents of North Bennington voted three times to close their public school and establish a new, independent academy in the old school building. Now that school is taking shape.

Educators in North Bennington say the students shouldn’t notice any difference at all when the independent North Bennington Village School opens in the fall.

Thomas Martin, the former principal at the old school, will be back as the Village School’s headmaster.