10-21-14 – Phil Scott’s Soviet-model Education Plan

posted by John McClaughry

                After four years of avoiding taking a clear position on any issue that I can remember, Lt. Governor Phil Scott finally stepped up and announced his plan for dealing with ever rising school property tax increases.

According to a Vermont Digger report, “Vermont should consider a central, apolitical board to regulate school spending and decide whether districts should consolidate, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott said. …changing the complex education funding formula won’t relieve tax-weary Vermonters unless schools also spend less”, he said.

Scott said he envisions an entity like the Green Mountain Care Board, the five-member panel created in 2011 to regulate health care costs in the state by approving hospital budgets and private insurance premium rates and the amounts that hospitals can receive for the services they provide. An education board could, for example, set parameters within which schools would be able to raise spending each year. Budget increases over a certain threshold might need board approval, Scott suggested.

The board could also be charged with deciding whether school districts or supervisory unions should consolidate, he said. It could also potentially play a role in setting property tax rates, Scott said.

Well there you have it. On top of Peter Shumlin’s Soviet style command and control model for government health care, the Republican Lt Governor wants a Soviet style command and control model for public education. Sigh.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles Russell October 22, 2014 at 1:13 am

until Repuplicans are willing to stand on foundational principles like personal responsibility, keeping the power of decision making as close to the home as possible and keep the size & power of government under check we will not gain any respect.
Republicans need to pave the way in establishing a plan to restore government to its rightful position in society.
Lt. Governor Scott is just doing what republicrats have become so adept at in recent times, trying to out liberal the party in control.


Peg October 27, 2014 at 1:32 pm

An open letter to Phil Scott: From the beginning, I challenged you on your stance on “Shummycare.” You told me, your construction business would pay less for employee coverage and “Shummycare” would work. Now you take a stand on education? I question where your real motives are. You also stated to me, ALL elected positions should be for four years, so you didn’t have to campaign every two years as it was a waste of money and time. When will you be honest on your intentions, or is this just the way the game is supposed to be played?


forbes January 14, 2015 at 12:46 am

Well it is a talking point and better than what we have now.. Some one or thing must review the whole education system. What we have now isn`t working and schools are competing against each other ie: salaries… Even with the poor town, rich town formula the competition for teachers goes on and the poorer towns wind up with first and second year teachers until they move on for higher paying jobs that only a higher end town can and will pay. They can pick and choose the best which is reflected in the end product… I am listening !!!


Lyle M. Miller, Sr. January 14, 2015 at 3:27 am

I m sorry Phil, Vermont took over the welfare that was once overseen by local people with the promise that it would be less expensive, but just the opposite has happened over the years. Central government control will not make the grade now and never. Too many bureaucrats and power hungry folks are put in control and don’t know how to use their controls fairly.


H. BrookePaige January 14, 2015 at 4:52 am

Bigger is not Better – It’s Just Bigger (and more expensive) !

Much as I like Phil Scott, I believe he is dead wrong here. There is no evidence that the Green Mt. Care Board is having any real positive effect on the quality of costs of healthcare. Likewise, State government intervention (interference) in local school boards activities will not result in reduced costs. Previous school district consolidations have resulted in INCREASED per pupil costs and reduced staff/pupil ratios.

Local schools are a tradition as old as Vermont itself and no one has presented compelling evidence that this tradition should be ended by outsiders in Montpelier.

Changing just two factors would help to resolve the problem of expanding education costs: 1) have the state assume responsibility for the various mandates imposed upon local districts 2) eliminate the VT-NEA monopoly stranglehold on the relationship between teachers and their school district employers. The key to lower cost per pupil also lies in effective use new technology to customize the education to each students needs.

Beyond increasing costs, we must demand the restoration of higher education standards – we are paying top dollar for substandard educational outcomes. Students and their parents should be demanding that their educational experience will prepare them to be both productive workers AND educated, informed citizens prepared to assume their responsibilities as voters and leaders.

H. Brooke Paige
Washington, Vermont


Linda Kirker March 17, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Until the students’ parents, taxpayers and the teachers, who are trapped in an inefficient and ineffective education system stand up, nothing will change. Certainly, the VEA, the Superintendent’s Assoc, the Principals’ Assoc., the State Board of Education and the VT Dept. of Education are not looking for change that the parents and taxpayers want. By our inaction, we have taught others how to treat us.
What is at stake is the future of our children ,our State, and even our nation. Vermont’s per pupil spending and student-teacher ratio have to come into line with the National average to make education in Vermont affordable. Stop Common Core !


S mith May 1, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I started going back to town meetings and was appalled when I read about the supervisory union. I thought whoa what is this ? Communist s
Have gotten into our little state. Unions convince s employees they need them to do something teachers and principles have done just fine for hundreds of years . It Is like carrying a five hundred pound umbrella to stay dry when a one pound one will do fine .Satan deceived Adam and eve the same way . Al smith


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...