Private school tuition House vote postponed until Wednesday, sources say

By Guy Page

Sources at the Vermont State House say the vote on H.483, restricting public school tuition to private schools, has been delayed until at least next Wednesday.

It is uncertain why voting on this bill, pushed strongly by a coalition of public school education groups, has been postponed after being placed on the House agenda this week. When bills are pulled from the voting schedule, it’s usually for one of two reasons: 1) House and committee leadership acknowledge there’s more work to be done on the bill, and/or 2) leadership has been counting heads and knows it lacks the votes to successfully pass the bill. Bringing a major bill to a floor vote and then losing on a roll call vote is considered a major, embarrassing blunder by its supporters. Blame is laid at the feet of the legislature’s leaders.

H.483 would require all private schools (religious and secular) offer open enrollment, not being allowed to pick and choose among would-be enrollees. Supporters of Vermont’s many private schools receiving public tuition say this will impose a severe financial hardship on institutions that do not receive anywhere near the level of financial support as fully public schools.

The bill also requires all public tuition recipients provide equal access and rights to LGBTQ students and staff, as required for public schools by the state’s public accommodations law. It is unclear whether such a provision would be at odds with recent Supreme Court decisions requiring school districts to pay tuition without discriminating against religious schools.

Passing H.483 would cause significant financial hardship to rural communities now relying on private schools as their primary high school. Rep. Terri Williams (R-Granby) recently wrote:

Essex County. 675 square miles. Population – about 5,800. Student population – about twelve hundred.

Only one high school, Canaan High School, a town that borders New Hampshire to the east, Canada to the north. It is a good little public school with about 100 students. Most of the other high school students go to Lyndon Institute and St Johnsbury Academy, both independent schools. Great schools. And about as close as any for Essex County students to get to.

Many of their parents work in St. J and Lyndonville, making transportation convenient. Lyndon Institute provides busing for Essex County students who live in Lunenburg and Concord but no further north. St Johnsbury Academy does not provide transportation. Students rely on parents and neighbors to transport them.

The Education Committee’s independent schools bill does not help either of these high schools meet the unprecedented, strict new standards it seeks to impose. When the new, high bar is not reached, where oh where will Essex County students go then? Are we really ok with gambling with the educational lives of these students?

If the state of Vermont wants to build a public school right in the middle of Essex County, that would be great. Essex County certainly can’t afford to build one.

Northeast Kingdom schools have been underfunded for more than 20 years. The Legislature has created a new funding formula that hopefully will fix that. For so many, it is too little too late.

What we must not do is just load another bale of straw on the already overburdened camel’s back.

There is much talk about equity in the Legislature. Forced open enrollment of schools already trailing behind wealthier, urban towns in transportation and teacher pay just widens the real-life equity gap. It cannot help but leave the poor towns poorer.

Already this year, a Senate bill would force my constituents to pay more just to stay warm. Shall we now force my constituents to pay more to send their children to school?

Camels bite, you know. After listening to my constituents who believe Montpelier is threatening not only their ability to stay warm, but their children’s futures, I assure you, that bite will feel like a little nip in comparison to how the camel will react if this bill passes unchanged.

For decades paying public school tuition to private schools has been one of the practical, positive, future-thinking features of life in Essex County. I am sure that when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Carson V. Makin, it did not have in mind punishing rural families and private schools. Rather than pass a law that will spend money the state doesn’t have, inflict needless suffering on low-income, rural families, and make the State of Vermont a defendant before a miffed Supreme Court, I hope this bill will be returned to the House Education Committee with directions to craft a truly equitable bill that serves all citizens, and not just the narrow, inequitable interests of the big schools and the public education establishment.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Public domain

12 thoughts on “Private school tuition House vote postponed until Wednesday, sources say

  1. Oh, here’s one post that would shatter the Kanceling Klimate Kult…….

    for those of us who’ve been around a bit and know that science isn’t formed by consensus….and it’s ok to ask questions, actually it’s part of the scientific method….lol…

    KKK, enjoy this post!

    To be banned from every Vermont school, verily, verily I say.

    • Oh, Dear NEA…..the Junior High Boys, are looking for some equity. 🙂

      Since the toddlers get Drag Queen Story hour, they have requested lap dances every month. they would like that in the upcoming school year budget.

      They are telling me it’s all about Equity.

  2. Too funny. In essence, VT is controlled by a “religious” cult – the religions of all things Climate Change…and a vast amount of the State’s precious resources MUST be spent (pissed away) on it…to “save the world”. But to continue this religious Kult of Klimate, they FIRST must have control of all education….to indoctrinate K thru college… kids who soon enough are eventual voters to keep them in power, with dark fears of their very survival – climate extinction.. What is it that threatens the Unions, NEA, teachers, Progressives and climate lobbyists most? The fact that private, other supposedly “religious” schools MIGHT JUST threaten their strangle hold and NOT teach Climate religion, CRT, BLM. equity, diversity, fossil fuel evil, sex, gender, race, trannies etc….so ONE religion (the Klimate Kult of) is seeking to HALT funding – to supposedly other threatening “religious” or “private” school entities, that will WILL NOT adhere to their diktats, orthodoxy or basically socialist-marxist “agenda”… it’s the other religious cult that rules VT. And they are very, very real and vicious.

    • Epic post… can we get three k’s in that lol.

      It’s a kult all right……

      Kaceling Klimate Kult…….:)

      A more true post has not gone up than yours, seriously accurate and to the point.
      It was/is never about the science, always about the kult.

      Well done sir

      • You’re kind, Neil…I too thought it was one of my better posts :)….because the comparison is staring at us, smack in the face. It is a battle seen all down thru the ages….WAR over “religion”…”power” and “control”. It is all very Shakespearian. The VT religious “Cult of Climate” is terrified that other private, or “semi-religious” schools will give the “serfs & peasants” what they demand ….FREEDOM TO CHOOSE. The Klimate Kult of VT supports underage kids to have easy access to change their sex at the drop of a hat. They are “mature” enough to decide. But these same under age kids cannot buy a beer or cigarette until they are 21 – because they ARE NOT MATURE ENOUGH???? Huh? Parents be shunned…just as in all “Cults”…parents are always shunned as evil “Deniers”. You see Cult people using the word “DENIER” all the time – it is a hallmark & standard procedure IN ALL CULTS to label their enemies as such….Deniers.

        All you have to do is study history….Cults, threats, extinction, deniers…all have been seen before. Italian historian, Machiavelli described it, saying this hundreds and hundreds of years ago. This is exactly the “Klimate Kult Religion” you see now demanding all control of all VT & education…using unfounded dark fears of climate extinction, death and misery – if you do not follow the Cult…and only THEY will save you. It’s JIM JONES KOOL-AID all over again 🙂

        ““Machiavelli’s historical observation that “whoever controls the people’s fears becomes master of their souls.” The formula for achieving such mastery has not changed in millennia: stoke any fear, turn the fear to hate of whomever and whatever you accuse of standing in the way of safety, and make yourself the agent of that hate.”
        “The formula works when its dynamic embeds itself in the masses’ behavior—even when the master (climate cult) himself is the one to be feared. That is because stampeding humans readily give up their souls and become no more mindful of their own interest than steers. Hence, whoever manages to madden crowds (climate extinction) while directing their hysteria onto his enemies stands to reap power.”

        • It is most certainly power and control, it is a cult, the other term that goes along with that is theocracy, similar issues, power and control.

          You can tell an organization by its fruit.

          We’ve got some rotten Macintosh, for sure.

          And it gets worse, religion has even adopted the teachings of Karl Marx over Jesus Christ. The one mandatory class I had to attend as layleader was all about the teachings of Karl Marx, nobody had any clue, they were eating it up. And when I suggested that love and forgiveness might be the cure I was told, we’re tired of that!

          People have no idea.

          • Re: People have no idea.

            Yes, I believe most do have the idea, Neil. In some cases, they disagree with you, in whole or in part. In other cases, they’re afraid to speak out, let alone take action. After all, which ‘cult’ should have power and control? What action do you recommend that allows people who otherwise hate one another, to work with one another, and help one another?

            Do I really have to spell it out again?

          • Where does intersectionality come from?
            What is their solution?

            Most people I speak with don’t even know what it’s about.

            Ask 10 people what type of government we have.
            Ask 10 people the difference between a democracy and a republic.

            My guess is 30% will not answer the question correctly.

            Ask people What is the foundational literature for western civilization…..

            My guess is anyone under 45 will not do better than 20%.

            It’s just my experience…

          • Using a term like ‘intersectionality’ is a common argumentative tactic most often used to misrepresent reality, as if classic racism and other forms of discrimination that have occurred simultaneously as social norms for millennia (i.e., they ‘intersect’) are somehow a recently discovered phenomenon known only to academic elitists.

            So, how do we solve racism, sexism, classism, and the myriad other ‘isms’ recently coined by woke academia? Well, first of all, stop making up words as a pseudo-display of intellectual authority.

            What kind of a government do we have, Neil? The United States is a Constitutional Republic. But our infamous New England Town Meetings are classic Direct Democracies. What’s your point? Do you honestly believe the average person can’t understand the difference when it’s explained to them in reasonable terms?

            So, why don’t you answer my question? When it comes to education governance, how can people who otherwise hate one another, work with one another, and help one another?

          • You have tomhave a regenerative heart. One has to humble themselves and get tamp down pride, “I’m right”.

            You can easily have the conversation, people can change minds, you have to love your enemy that is how.

            Daryl Davis a black musician demonstrates this with the KKK. Our educational system has failed us, many are indoctrinated, and many are members of its cult, for those its best to waste no time.

            Look up Davis. Not everyone is going to agree, some people are over powered by selfishness, greed and power, you can spen years on on topic and they will never waver.

  3. This pretty well sums up how we got into this whole mess.

    Borrower is slave to the lender. That is exactly what Montpelier wants.

    Remember all our little schools we ran on town taxes? Wasn’t so bad in hind sight was it? This was and is their plan all along. They don’t want to tell kids the truth, educate them well and care for their well being.

    Instead of suggesting sex might be best saved for marriage, it’s try and experiment on anything we can think of. Don’t worry that you might get pregnant. Don’t worry that you are not in a stable loving relationship. Don’t worry that you might not be financially prepared.

    No they want to have a drag queen story hour for 8 year olds. They want, the state, to have control of your daughter so she can get a sex change without consent or knowledge of her parents. They want to teach kids how to give blow jobs and anal sex in class.

    Vermont, here’s your sign, Montpelier is Stupid.

    Maybe if they hire prostitutes for the 11 year old boys soccer team and have some keg parties we’ll wake up.

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