Homeschool exodus costing public schools $$?

Superintendents worry about lost funding as homeschool numbers grow

By Guy Page

August 27, 2020 – The House Education Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee tomorrow at 10:30 AM will discuss a draft bill about how homeschooling affects public school financing. 

Details are unclear at present. Vermont Daily has reached out to state education officials and Education Committee legislators for more information. Here’s the cryptic title for the joint meeting, from the Legislative website: “Financial Implications, Homeschooler Interface with Supervisory Unions, Draft Bill Addressing Average Daily Membership.” 

As reported first in VT Daily on July 21, Vermont homeschooling applications are up by 75%. Parents are concerned about children’s health, their own health, and/or changes in the public school learning environment in response to Covid-19. Public school funding is based partly on enrollment, so an exodus of students for any reason reduces revenue. 

Among those invited to testify tomorrow is Jeff Francis, executive director of the Vermont Superintendents Association. In early August, Francis spoke with about record high numbers of homeschooling applications affecting public school revenue. VT Digger reported on August 4: “Jeff Francis, the executive director of the Vermont Superintendents Association, flagged sharp fluctuations in enrollment as a concern for legislators on Thursday, and asked them to consider changing the state’s education funding formula so that schools are not hit with a “double-whammy” of plummeting enrollments and Covid-related expenses.”

Police neckhold ban reviewed – the House Government Operations Committee Wednesday held a “walk through” initial review of S119, which says “a  law enforcement officer shall not use a prohibited restraint on a person for any reason,” and defines a prohibited restraint as “the use of any maneuver on a person that applies pressure to the neck, throat, windpipe, or carotid artery that may prevent or hinder breathing, reduce intake of air, or impede the flow of blood or oxygen to the brain.” It also sets guidelines for police use of deadly force. 

House Judiciary considers more criminal record expungementS294, now under review by House Judiciary, would allow criminal record expungement of crimes related to burglary under the age of 25, forgery, counterfeiting, credit card skimming, home improvement fraud, identity theft, grand larceny, petty larceny, embezzlement, receiving stolen property, organized retail theft, unlawful trespass, and other crimes. 

Global Warming Solutions on full House agenda today – H688, the Global Warming Solutions Act, is up for discussion in the Vermont House today. The session begins at 2 pm and can be seen on Zoom and heard live on VPR

Both House and Senate have approved H688, but their versions differ. The House may choose to accept the Senate version, or call for a Committee of Conference to reconcile the two versions. At present Gov. Phil Scott and House GOP leaders oppose at least two key components of the bill aimed at forcing steep reductions in carbon emissions. 


Tom Evslin: VT climate plan ignores the Power of Trees:

“Here in very green Vermont, where the renewable construction industry has a very effective lobby, our state decarbonization plan only recognizes reductions in greenhouse gas emission towards our decarbonization goal. Taking CO2 out of the air with trees doesn’t count even though it is more effective in terms of pounds of greenhouse gasses removed per dollar than subsidizing electric cars for rich people or over-paying for electricity from solar and wind.”

VT Watercooler Comment of the Day:

ZUCKERMAN WOULD HAVE ENFORCED MASK BAN SOONER: “Zuckerman sold his soul to Big Pharma. It’s pretty sad.”

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Categories: Education, Legislation

1 reply »

  1. Why are Superintendents worried about funding losses resulting from homeschool choices? There’s no reason to be so. School Boards can deficit spend whenever they deem it necessary, and taxpayers are required to foot the bill.

    Keep in mind, enrollments declined in Vermont by 30% before the Covid pandemic and rise of homeschooling. Funding still increased every year because enrollments were already artificially inflated by the State’s so-called ‘equalized student enrollment’ formula. Typically, enrollments are over-stated by 20% or more and, as a result, the cost per student is understated by that amount.

    Now Sec. French and Superintendents Association executive director Francis want to over-state enrollments even more using the pandemic and parental initiatives as the rationale. Before we know it, there won’t be any students left in the State’s public school monopoly but we’ll be paying its costs none the less. Shameless.