ERIC Number: ED438608
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Interest Group Influences in Advancing and Inhibiting Educational Finance Reform: The Politics of Equity in Vermont's Act 60.
Mathis, William J.
This paper analyzes educational-finance reform in Vermont, which culminated in the passage of Act 60, a comprehensive education and tax reform measure, and the subsequent political furor the act engendered. It outlines the pre-reform background focusing on early civil-society organizations and the unique political landscape in Vermont. The article describes the political actors in the reform debate, such as the League of Women Voters and The Vermont Natural Resources Council, and the various legislative movements these groups championed. Details of failed reform efforts and the many facets of political maneuvering are provided. After elements of bipartisan support of various reform packages fell apart, deliberative discourse fell to the side and political regrouping began in earnest. Corrections through the courts were then sought by financial reformers, and a family sued the state to obtain financial equity among school districts. The resultant victory and the passage of the reform legislation, Act 60, and subsequent backlash are described. The reform process resulted in watershed transformations of political thought and culture in Vermont. Most importantly, the notion of a statewide responsibility for the education of all children was firmly established, supported by a statewide property tax; and the entrenched idea of an inequitable financial share in education was eradicated. (Contains 32 references and notes.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont