Education Finance Reform: Early Discussions By Ways And Means Committee

As reported by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) Weekly Legislative Report of January 12, 2018, here are some of the proposals being 

Vermont State Capital building, Montpelier, VT. Photo: Nicholas Erwin.

discussed by the House Ways and Means Committee for reforming the education funding system:

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  • making the funding system simpler (it couldn’t be much more complex);
  • increasing cost containment
  • reviewing and halting the imposition of unfunded mandates on schools;
  • capping allowable growth in budgets or per pupil spending;
  • more targeted encouragement to school districts to reduce costs;
  • review of the goals of the income sensitivity program and its revision;
  • considering whether costs of the current use program should be borne by the Education Fund,
  • establishing a statewide per-pupil spending amount indexed to inflation, and providing that above a certain amount of excess spending, all increases would be on the municipal property tax base;
  • amending the renter rebate program;
  • returning unused property tax adjustment funds to the Education Fund unless a seller purchases another residence within three months of the sale;
  • moving collection of education taxes to the state; and
  • eliminating the income sensitivity program and replacing it with a flat homestead exemption amount.

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