This is from the March 19, 2022, update from the Vermont Independent Schools Association.
The statewide Average Announced Tuition (AAT) rates for the 2022-23 school year have been posted to the AOE web site. Elementary school (grades K-6) tuition will be $16,020, up 3.3 percent over this year’s rate. Secondary school tuition will be $17,278, up 2.6 percent over this year’s rate.
These rates are computed annually by the Agency of Education. By statute, the rates are the average of the announced tuition rates from all union school districts in the state.
VISA Testifies Against VSBA Proposal
VISA has spoken against a proposal to recommend to the State Board of Education that approved independent schools be treated the same as public schools under the Ed Board’s Educational Quality Standards (EQS). The recommendation was made Wednesday by Vermont School Boards Association to the Ethnic & Social Equity Standards Advisory Group. The Group was created by Act 1 of 2019 to address concerns about inadequate recognition of “the history, contributions, and perspectives of ethnic groups and social groups.” VISA is a member organization of that advisory group.
The EQS are Ed Board rules “to ensure that all students in Vermont public schools are afforded educa-tional opportunities that are substantially equal in quality, and enable them to achieve or exceed the standards approved by the State Board of Education.”
The VSBA proposal states the EQS contains “numerous references to ‘schools,’ ‘public schools,’ and ‘public and approved independent schools.’ All should cite to ‘public and approved independent schools’ wherever mentioned.”
“The VSBA claim appears to be mistaken,” replied VISA Executive Director Mill Moore. “The phrase ‘public and approved independent schools’ does not appear anywhere in the EQS,” And, he added “A blanket policy of changing rules specifically intended for public schools also to encompass independent schools would lead to confusion and to conflicts with existing statutes and rules created specifically for quality assurance in the approved independent schools.”
JFO Estimates Expanded Dual Enrollment Cost
Expansion of dual enrollment eligibility to include private-pay students at independent schools will add about $150,000 to the program cost, according to a recently released analysis by the Joint Fiscal Office. The dual enrollment program provides up to college courses annually tuition-free for Vermont high school juniors and seniors attending public schools or attending independent schools with public tuition support. The support is $280 per credit.
Bill S.219, which recently passed out of committee in the Senate, would expand eligibility to include private pay students attending independent schools, including students attending religious schools. The JFO analysis anticipated the change would add 176 new students, averaging three credits per student, thus amounting to $150,000 in new spending, which will be split evenly between the Education Fund and the General Fund.