The home for VPR's coverage of education issues and policy in Vermont.

The Education Team

Follow VPR reporters Amy Kolb Noyes and Howard Weiss-Tisman on Twitter for the latest on education issues across Vermont.

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Act 46 | Kids & Parenting | University Of Vermont | Vermont Legislature | Agency of Education

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A green and black plaque commemorating soldiers.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

When the town of Brattleboro put up a Civil War monument more than a hundred years ago, it didn’t include the black soldiers who served in that war. Now some local students want to change that.

ErikaMitchell / iStock

In his State of the State address, Gov. Phil Scott outlined his 2020 legislative agenda, including a proposal to make K-12 after-school programming more accessible to Vermonters. On this Vermont Edition: universal after-school. We dive into the research, and consider what it would take to make Governor Scott's proposal a reality for Vermont.

Marc Brown, facilities director at the Kingdom East School District, near standing water
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A new survey of school districts across Vermont has revealed a backlog of more than half a billion dollars in unmet infrastructure needs.

The exterior of the Cabot School
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR File

Last month, a 6-year-old boy in Cabot was suspended from school for 10 days after he drew two pictures which the principal of the Cabot School said "depicted a specific threat of violence." The incident is not isolated: According to state records, more than 300 Vermont children in first through third grades were suspended last year.

VTDigger education reporter Lola Duffort covered this topic in an article published Jan. 5.

People gathered to work in a construction project.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's workforce shortage affects many industries. In construction, companies here are having a hard time finding skilled carpenters.

But in Bennington, a company is offering free classes in advanced carpentry to train the workers they've hired for the $31 million Putnam Block project.

Community College of Vermont's Rutland campus, view from across the street.
Nina Keck / VPR File

As 2019 comes to a close, lots of organizations ask people to consider them for end-of-year giving. Some Vermonters are also making the case to give to local institutions of higher education.

The exterior of the Halifax Elementary School with snow on the ground.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Less than two years after Halifax and Readsboro approved an Act 46 merger, the two towns have scheduled public votes to dissolve the district. These are the first Vermont towns that are looking to dissolve an Act 46 merger through townwide votes.

A stage with musicians on it.
Pete Checchia/Allen Cohen / Courtesy of Marlboro Music Festival

Organizers of the Marlboro Music Festival say the festival will remain on the Marlboro College campus even if the school closes at the end of this academic year.

A laptop computer open to
Elodie Reed / VPR

One of the first things students embarking on a college search learn is just how expensive college tuition can be. The sticker price for a single year's tuition at private colleges and universities can top $50,000, not including costs such as books and on-campus room and board.

But what students also quickly learn is that, between grants, scholarships and need-based financial aid, many students don't pay the sticker price. In fact, there are some schools where almost no students pay the advertised price.

So how is a potential college student supposed to know what a school will charge them before they apply?

White buildings on the Marlboro College campus near the road
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR File

Last month Marlboro College announced plans to close its Marlboro campus and merge with Emerson College, in Boston. Now a group led by former faculty members says it's working on a different plan.

Caroll Spinney, the actor and puppeteer who portrayed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street over five decades, died Sunday at age 85.

The Sesame Workshop said Spinney had died at home in Connecticut, and that he had long lived with dystonia, a disorder that causes involuntary muscle contractions.

An empty office illustration with a vacant sign hanging on a chair
Tetiana5 / iSotck

When Suresh Garimella took the helm at UVM earlier this year, he became the newest college president in Vermont. But the state’s flagship university is far from the only Vermont college undergoing a change of leadership.

When Matthew Braun gets out of medical school, he'll be able to prescribe opioids.

A decade ago, he was addicted to them.

"The first time I ever used an opioid, I felt the most confident and powerful I'd ever felt," Braun says. "So I said, 'This is it. I want to do this the rest of my life.' "

Opioids took away his anxiety, his inhibitions, his depression. And they were easy to get.

"I just started breaking into houses," Braun says. "I found it amazing how trusting people were in leaving windows open and doors unlocked, and I found a lot of prescriptions."

Presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want to tear up your student loans and set you financially free. That's popular among voters – especially those struggling to pay off this debt.

Other Democratic candidates have more modest plans. But economists say the dramatic proposals from Sanders and Warren to free millions of Americans from the burden of student debt could boost the economy in significant ways and help combat income inequality.

The front of a hospital.
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Courtesy

More than 100 rural hospitals have closed across the country in the past 10 years. In an effort to prevent that in Vermont, the state legislature has set up a task force, and its initial findings show hospitals here face a crushing shortage of doctors and nurses.

A sign post on the campus of UVM in Burlington.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The University of Vermont plans to freeze tuition rates next year. The college says the last time it did this was more than 40 years ago.

Nicole Lesperance sits with her students at a table full of lego blocks.
Elodie Reed / VPR

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median hourly wage for child care workers in Vermont is just over $13 an hour. As heard in this month's Brave Little State, figuring out how to train, retain and pay child care workers is a complicated question in Vermont.

But for many parents, simply finding a spot for their child in a high-quality early education program can be a big challenge — let alone paying for it. New programs at two Vermont businesses seek to make child care more affordable and accessible to working Vermonters. 

A college student standing in front of a window.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Ever since Marlboro College announced last week that it would likely be closing its campus in Windham County, both the college community and people who live in the small town have been coming to grips with the news.

A man in a blue tie.
Elodie Reed / VPR file

There's a new scholarship fund at the University of Vermont honoring Sen. Patrick Leahy and his wife, Marcelle Leahy, but the corporations and foundations that have donated to the scholarship may have motives other than simply supporting higher education.

A woman stands in the center of children on a blue rug.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The smell of fish sticks, crayons, and the sweet-yet-slightly-grubby smell of small children. If you’re a parent, you know what we’re talking about. If you’re not? Welcome to child care.