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Public Statements

Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

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Quality Education for all Vermont Students

Vision

Educating our children is a hugely important responsibility. We must prioritize our resources to ensure their future, and our own.

Vermonters appreciate the importance of a world-class education. We know the number of kids in Vermont is declining. That's not the fault of public schools. It reflects larger demographic trends the state is facing. With or without increasing numbers of kids, though, we owe it to them and the state's future to invest in maintaining and enhancing Vermont's well-deserved reputation for educational excellence.

We should not sacrifice Vermont's leadership in the field of education, and the future of our children, to short-term economic thinking. Education policy requires a long-term perspective, and an understanding that sustained investment is required for long-term gain. What better investment can we make than the future of our children?

Record

During Peter's years in leadership roles, he has fought for education policies that put children first.

Peter helped write an education funding formula that is the most progressive in the country. It allows every student in Vermont to have access to the same educational opportunities regardless of what community they happen to have been born in.

The Future of Education in Vermont

As Governor, Peter would defend the school funding law that allows for children from Hardwick to have the same access to quality education as children from Stowe. He would also work to improve it where necessary. He would work in partnership with Vermont's children, our families, our teachers, our administrators and our school boards to ensure that we build the best educational system in the country.

As Governor, Peter would steer us away from the obsession with testing, and the flawed temptation to rate educators simply on the basis of how students score them. He would focus on public education as the primary (not the only) component of sustainable economic development. Every reputable study examining the multiple sources of economic growth places a quality public education system at the top of the list.

As Governor, Peter would look for ways to reduce costs in our education system by expanding distance learning. He would seek to make grants available to communities to help them consolidate should they choose to do so, at their own pace and their own rhythm. Grants should also be made available to communities who want to utilize the space made available from declining enrollment for consolidated community services.

As Governor, Peter would work with educators and business leaders to make Vermont a leader in early childhood education. We should strive to become the first state in the country that treats early education as an equal partner.


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