VERGENNES — When Vermont Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca visits Vergennes this week, he will discuss two issues the Vermont Board of Education has identified as critical — one in which local officials said Vergennes Union High School is already a statewide leader and another in which by March Vergennes-area schools may lead Vermont.
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Submitted by John McClaughry
Four months ago the Council on the Future of Vermont released its report, Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future.
The report culminated an 18‐month, $400,000 process, during which some four thousand Vermonters attended over 100 meetings. Ably written and attractively produced, the report collected and transmitted the ideas and dreams of its participants of the possible Vermont of the future.
By KEVIN O’CONNOR
Is Vermont’s ongoing fight over how to fund schools overshadowing gains in its classrooms?
When the Council on the Future of Vermont asked residents about their most pressing concerns, it heard fury about property taxes for education.
“We can’t pay $1.7 million for less than 50 students,” one Champlain Islands resident said.
The council heard fear about the fact the average college student-loan debt of $30,000 has leapt by more than 150 percent in the past 15 years.
A statewide discussion among Vermonters about the environment and the economy has shown that the quality of the environment — the rural landscape of woods, farms, lakes, rivers — is a value deeply embedded in the identity and hopes of Vermonters. Simultaneously, Vermonters remain worried about economic prospects, particularly during a recession, and the opportunities that may or may not be available for jobs and housing.
By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer
Is there an answer to the decades-long question of how to balance the state's environment and economy through land-use planning?
Vermont Regional Food Centers Collaborative: Advancing Food Systems through Learning, Planning and Action
This 2009 platform paper outlines the challenges, vision, goals, and workplan in support Vermont farms and local agriculture economies with contact information of the collaborative members and their service areas.
After two years spent interviewing Vermonters young and old, blue collar and white, the Council on the Future of Vermont shared its findings on the hopes, aspirations and visions for the state as voiced by nearly 4,000 people who know it best.
The group had just one qualification for its sources -- of living within the Green Mountain State. "We wanted to speak with people who don’t normally have a voice," said Sarah Waring, who presented the Council’s findings at an open forum held at Southern Vermont College Tuesday.
What Vermonters are most concerned about is universal -- preserving the working landscape, fortifying the unity of their communities, retaining the Vermont "brand," creating local energy sources, making sure their children get the best education, keeping the costs of health care reasonable and being able to afford a home.
By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer
The Council on the Future of Vermont knows the state treasures its farms and forests. So why is it asking if there's too much of a good thing?
Surveying almost 4,000 experts and everyday folk at more than 100 meetings, the nonprofit, nonpartisan study group heard more talk about the working landscape than any other topic. Nearly 98 percent of those surveyed, in fact, said they valued the fields, woods and pastures more than any other of the state's features.
Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future is the final report of the Council on the Future of Vermont. With the publication of this report, the findings of the Council are no longer ours alone. The report is a contribution toward action. It is for the people of Vermont to use to move Vermont forward as they see fit. It is a reflection of the 18 months of listening to Vermonters.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Part One and Part Two (2MB)
Concerns, Challenges and Opportunities
Conclusions of the Council on the Future of Vermont
Reflections from the Council on the Future of Vermont
- Part Three (4.3MB)
You can also download any chapter on its own by clicking below:
- Chapter 1: Vermont Culture
- Chapter 2: Population
- Chapter 3: Natural Environment
- Chapter 4: Working Landscape: Agriculture and Forestry
- Chapter 5: Built Environment: Land Use and Development
- Chapter 6: Economy
- Chapter 7: Education
- Chapter 8: Human Services, Health and Safety
- Chapter 9: Infrastructure
- Chapter 10: Energy