To the Editor:
There has been much talk lately about the spending levels of the school districts in the state of Vermont. So much of this dialogue has taken place that thoughts of an exemplary education system have fallen by the wayside. One wonders what the purpose of having school districts is in the first place? I always assumed the primary reason they exist is to educate the boys and girls, the young adults of our state and country, so that we have an educated and informed citizenry.
School districts are municipalities within themselves, not members of the so-called education establishment. The residents determine who shall represent them in all phases of their operation. That would seem to be the essence of a representative democracy.? In my opinion they are the most important institutions for ensuring the maintenance of our democracy.
The residents of Vermont have shown their support for our schools over and over again. So much so that a national survey has, for two years, called us the smartest state. This is based on the achievement of our students, the high graduation rate, accomplishment in math and reading and the willingness of voters to maintain low pupil teacher ratios and adequate funding.
Can we afford the high standard or do we choose to diminish our accomplishments, thereby accepting a less adequate education system? In the interest of our children we cannot afford not to allow voters to make that determination without the impediment of thoughtless laws.
President, Vermont School Boards Association