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Reading this discussion makes me sick and gives me cause for optimism at the
same time. Bravo to many of the young people on this list for their
foresight and concern and boo to those of you who have such a selfish view
of the world. I don't want to rehash the point here because they have been
made already but just to clarify a couple of points in this last post by JIM
B>:

>>Teachers
negotiate decent salaries, decent health care, and the fed. govt. demands
certain standards.<<

Where do teachers earn a decent salary? Whatever standards the fed govt
demands are meaninbgless when the mandates are not funded.

>This all costs a lot of $ per kid.  $9k/yr. per kid
sounds crazy, esp. when I know it costs a lot less than that to send my kid
to a parochial school<

Yeah it sounds crazy cheap. Keeping someone in jail for a year costs at
least three times as much. It costs me $25,000 per year per kid to send my
kids to school. Parochial school are completely subsidized by the church and
here in New York they have been closing because the church can't afford to
keep them open.





-----Original Message-----
From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Jim B.
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2004 12:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] K-Mart, NH


Wow, tried to fight the temptation to post in on this one, but why fight
it?  Good points on both sides, despite the rancor, but evril K-mart skier
Geoff may have put a finger on it:

VT will need to find other sources of revenues beyond property taxation to
fund education.  Gov. Douglas has taken a step in this direction with Act
68, but the ultimate answer does lay in making VT a more attractive place
to do business.  Does this mean gutting enviro. laws?  Not necessarily. It
does mean permit reform which the current gov. is also tackling head on,
with grudging acceptance of the folks on the left side the aisle in the
legislature.  It also means infrastructure improvements, and not just roads
and bridges, but cell. service, high speed data networks, a good source of
well educated workers with real job skills, etc.

Folks in VT who love their "quality of life" think nothing of accepting a
lower standard of living in exchange for the positive externalities born of
Vermont's geography, lack of heavy industry, and yes, labyrinth of not-so-
biz friendly laws and regs.  Problem is, education is expensive.  Teachers
negotiate decent salaries, decent health care, and the fed. govt. demands
certain standards.  This all costs a lot of $ per kid.  $9k/yr. per kid
sounds crazy, esp. when I know it costs a lot less than that to send my kid
to a parochial school (yup, we pay twice for educ.), but it's probably
about right.  There are only so many folks and businesses in a small state
like VT, and if you want "equity", you gotta soak the rich towns to help
out the small towns.  This quickly leads to tax revolts and oddities like
the K-ton secession vote.  At some point you gotta stop just chopping up
the pie and bake yourself a bigger pie.

Anti-dev. folks will cringe at that notion, and population doom folks will
say just make the human pie smaller, but there are ways to build real
wealth, even the redistributable kind that public education requires,
without destroying the environment.  Taint easy, and I don't have the
answers, but to a large degree VT's method of funding educ. is ultimately
regressive.  The new tech. educ. center in NW VT is a decent step in the
smart-pie-growing direction, as is Act 250 reform, as are other initiatives
afoot.  Just raising the prop. taxes every year isn't a solution.

Act 60's gone, and guess what? Most every town school budget passed this
year on Town Meeting Day.  Last year my town had to vote four times to get
our school budget passed.

-Jim B.

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