A Huge Opportunity

Email Blast Sent to Supporters on April 2, 2017. Subscribe!

Friends,

We released a report last week on Re-Energizing Vermont’s Education System and introducing $350 million in potential savings for Vermont property tax payers.

Vermont is well-positioned to take advantage of increasing global demand for access to American education systems. International applications for U.S. student visas has increased tenfold since 2008. Vermont’s public school system has the capacity to meet this demand (having lost 20,000 students since 1998) as well as small classroom sizes and good educational outcomes that would be attractive to these students. In fact, there are three public high schools in Vermont that are already doing this!

If Vermont were able to fill just half of our excess capacity (about 10,000 students) we would generate $390 million in new revenue, most of which would be realized in cost savings for Vermont property taxpayers. An average school district could see up to a 30% reduction in tax rates, realizing savings of $400-$600 for the average household. Additionally, introducing international students would diversify our student population - which is often criticized for being one of the most homogenous in the country - and create more educational opportunities for Vermont students. 

While this may seem like a no-brainer, there is a lot of work left to do before these cost-savings are realized. We need the Legislature to sign on and support this initiative and invest in developing an international marketing and statewide placement program. That requires Campaign for Vermont to engage fully in advocating for this program. It costs $250 per day for us to be in the Statehouse, and we wouldn’t be there at all if it weren’t for Vermonters like you.

We urge you to pledge your support for our campaign to Re-Energize Vermont’s Education System and realize $350 million in savings for Vermont property taxpayers. If we are successful, a $250 pledge could yield $5,000 for an average household over 10 years, a great return on investment in the future of Vermont! 

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PLEDGE YOUR SUPPORT NOW

 

Budget:
The House voted on Thursday 143-1 to pass the budget package put together by the House Appropriations Committee. After rejecting the Governor’s education funding proposal earlier this year, committee members dug in to find General Fund savings. Most of this came from cuts to human services, operational efficiencies, and better enforcement of existing law.

The budget did not increase taxes or fees on hard-working Vermonters and spending growth for state dollars was X.X% slightly below economic growth forecasts for next year. We will continue following closely as the budget moves into the Senate for consideration.

 

Ethics:
We testified this week, along with a number of others, on the ethics bill (S.8) now being deliberated on in the House Government Operations Committee. Advocates made sure to convey that the current form of S.8 does not lay out strong ethics oversight and a stronger ethics commission is needed to ensure the public trust. The committee seems to be generally supportive of ethics reform, but we encourage you to write the committee asking them to support strong ethics legislation.

 

Vote for Vermont:
This week we talk conservation and land use with members from the Vermont Traditions Coalition.

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Together we can make great things happen,

 

Benjamin Kinsley
Executive Director
Campaign for Vermont Prosperity

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