Vermont School Boards Association From the Boardroom Newsletter

Fall 2016 Negotiations Workshops

In 2015, 150 school board members, superintendents and business managers attended VSBA’s negotiations workshops: Surviving Contract Negotiations and Crisis Bargaining. These sessions are designed to bring balance back to the bargaining table by providing management with a better understanding of VT-NEA negotiations strategies and to develop more effective board responses to union tactics and strategies. 



VSBA and VSA Annual Conference

Thursday October 20 and Friday October 21, 2016
Lake Morey Resort / Fairlee, VT

Vermont’s Public Schools: Fulfilling the Promise of Equity 
The well-being of Vermont’s children is both a source of pride and concern. Our schools meet the needs and aspirations of many of our students yet we have not found a way to systematically address the challenges created by poverty, addiction, disability, and discrimination. Vermont has a commitment to equity that is unmatched by most any other state, yet we see persistent performance gaps between populations disaggregated by race, disability, and socio-economic status

2016 VSBA Resolutions

One way your association determines its positions on public policy issues is through a process of developing, considering, and adopting resolutions.  The process is described in the VSBA by-laws which can be found on the VSBA website.
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  1. Continuous Learning to Enhance the 
    Cause of Public Education
  2. VSBA Regional Meetings
  3. General Assembly Stays the Course on Act 46
  4. Act 46: School Board Leadership Has Never Been More Critical
  5. Act 46: Stories of Board Leadership
  6. Federal Guidance on Transgender Students Coincides with Local Experience
  7. Fall 2016 Negotiations Workshops
  8. The Vermont Education Accountability 
    System: A Journey We Are on Together
  9. Q & A: Can A School District “Privatize”?
  10. VSBA and VSA Annual Conference
  11. 2016 VSBA Resolutions
  12. VSBA Master Agreement Search System
  13. Guide to Student Voice
  14. Member to Member
  15. Leadership Award Nominations

Continuous Learning to Enhance the 
Cause of Public Education

After more than twenty years serving on school boards, I occasionally have a day when I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of my role – and then reality hits and I am reminded that while the fundamentals of this work remain fairly steady, new issues regularly arise that require additional understanding.

VSBA Regional Meetings

The Vermont School Boards Association holds regional meetings for its members each fall.   The purpose is to conduct the business of the statewide association as well as to provide information and board development opportunities to school board members throughout the state.
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General Assembly Stays the Course on Act 46

If this legislative session demonstrated one clear lesson, it was that the task of crafting legislation that can make it to the “finish line” in time for adjournment is not easy or quick, even when there is broad-based support for change. 

Act 46: School Board Leadership Has Never Been More Critical

Act 46 passed a year ago in response to persistent concerns about equity, quality, and cost in a state educating 20,000 fewer students than we were two decades ago.  Vermont has one of the more complex education governance structures in the country, as well as the smallest school districts in the nation.  We spend more than $1.5 billion through 330 administrative units serving fewer than 80,000 students.  Over a third of our school districts oversee a single school serving fewer than 100 students. 

Act 46: Stories of Board Leadership

We asked two long-serving school board members - Ken Fredette of Wallingford and Ruth Hardy of Middlebury - to document their Act 46 stories in order to share their perspectives as board members who led challenging conversations in their communities, culminating in successful merger votes on Town Meeting Day this year. 

Federal Guidance on Transgender Students Coincides with Local Experience

Recently, we were struck by the confluence of state and national news that came across our desks here at the VSBA offices. 
On May 9th, students at Green Mountain Union High School in Chester led a walk-out in support of a transgender classmate who had been requested to refrain from using the boys’ restroom, and instead use a gender-neutral facility. 

The Vermont Education Accountability 
System: A Journey We Are on Together

The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) is currently in the process of determining how the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will translate into the state accountability system.  

Q & A: Can A School District “Privatize”?

Vermont’s school boards are elected by their communities to assure that all children receive a high quality education and that taxpayers receive an excellent return on their investment. 

VSBA Master Agreement Search System  

The master agreement search system is similar to this water filtering system. The VSBA enters all of the negotiatiated agreements and fact finder reports listed in the pitcher. When using the search system you may add or remove any of the filters below to locate and search the documents that you need. 

Guide to Student Voice


Member to Member


Leadership Award Nominations

Editor: Harry Frank
Layout: Kerri Lamb

Articles printed represent diverse points of view and may be controversial in nature. It is the belief of the Association that the democratic process functions best through discussions which challenge and stimulate thinking on the part of the reader. Therefore, materials published present the ideas/beliefs of those who write them and are not necessarily the views or policies of the VSBA unless so stated. This newsletter is distributed at no charge to all members of the Association. Contact the Association by calling 800-244-8733.