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Higher ed: School costs are up — but so are student gains


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.

...“Education in Vermont can be seen as one of the state’s greatest success stories,” the council writes in its 112-page report, “Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future.” “While Vermont’s performance is high compared to the rest of the nation, these accomplishments, especially the declining dropout rate for high school students, do not seem to be celebrated by the Vermont public and policy leaders.”

Instead, as students prepare for a new academic year, parents, teachers and the public are stuck in the same old fiscal fight.