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Online Petition Seeks Repeal Of Education Funding System

A pair of Republican lawmakers wants to throw out the state’s education funding system. And they’re asking Vermonters to sign on to the cause.

A petition posted to change.org Sunday seeks signatures from residents who support a move to repeal Act 60/68 effective July 1 of 2016, and replace it with some other yet-to-identified public financing mechanism.

The proposal, floated last year by Reps. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, and Patti Komline, R-Dorset, has gotten a frosty reception from the Democrats who control both chambers of the Legislature. But Scheuermann thinks appetite for repeal might be healthier among the general public.

“We’re seeing budgets that aren’t skyrocketing but in fact are pretty responsible budgets, and yet property taxes are going to skyrocket, and people are starting to feel like the problem here is with this funding system,” Scheuermann says. “And people are just really anxious now; it seems much more palpable now than it’s been in the past.”

Scheuermann says she and Komline are hoping to seize on that discontent. Lawmakers right now are discussing a significant overhaul of the school governance structure – the bill would consolidate 282 districts into 60 larger governance units.

But Scheuermann says the problem of rising property taxes can’t be solved without changing the way Vermonters pays for education. The petition had 228 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

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