Rebecca Holcombe

A screenshot of the Agency of Education's Merger Activity map. See the latest merger map here: https://bit.ly/2pMFZ3E
Screenshot, Vermont Agency of Education

Rebecca Holcombe’s announcement Tuesday that she’ll be stepping down as Vermont’s Secretary of Education comes at a critical time in the Act 46 school district consolidation process.

Headshot of Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcome pictured in 2014.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

After a four-year tenure in which she oversaw one of the most substantial school-governance overhauls in state history, Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe is departing state government.

Headshot of Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcome pictured in 2014.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The next Vermont legislative session is still several months away, but lawmakers, and state and local education officials, are already grappling with an expected gap in the state's Education Fund for the 2019 fiscal year.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

Gov. Phil Scott has reappointed Rebecca Holcombe as secretary of the Agency of Education, keeping in place a key player in the delicate rollout of a school district consolidation law passed in 2015.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Tuesday morning, a group of top lawmakers and education officials gathered in Essex to congratulate each other on the first school district merger under Vermont’s new school consolidation law, Act 46.

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Earlier this year, Vermont students took the new "Smarter Balanced" standardized test, or SBAC. The results of that test are being released to the public on Monday, Aug. 24.

Headshot of Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcome pictured in 2014.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Last week, surrounded by a crowd of schoolchildren in Bolton, Governor Shumlin signed a major new education bill - H.361 - into law. The law incentivizes Vermont's small school districts to merge into larger districts of at least 900 students.

Headshot of Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcome pictured in 2014.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Last year on Town Meeting Day over 30 towns voted down their school's budgets. Is that a problem at the town level or the state level? The number of students in Vermont's schools is projected to continue declining, so are the number of taxpayers. And yet property taxes keep going up.

Toby Talbot / AP

Many Vermont legislators and policymakers have spent the last two days at special summits at UVM and St. Michael's College. These two summits focused exclusively on education policy and finance- issues that will surely come up quite a bit in this legislative session.

We’ll talk to the new Education Secretary, Rebecca Holcombe, about her vision for the future of education in Vermont…and how to pay for it. We'll also hear from Tammy Kolbe, an Assistant Professor of Education, Leadership and Policy at the University of Vermont.