Because of a projected 7 cent increase in the statewide property tax rate for education, there’s a lot of debate at the statehouse about whether the time has come to implement a new education financing program to replace Act 60 and Act 68.
Those laws were passed after the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that all students in Vermont deserve the same educational opportunities. The ruling was a reaction in part to the fact the property rich towns could raise a lot of money with little tax effort and property poor towns had to increase their rates to raise the same amount of money.
We'll talk to the authors of a new paper that asks if the current education funding model is in some way responsible for the raising costs of education, and if and how it might be possible to change the formula. Dr. Lawrence Picus is a national expert on education funding from the University of Southern California School of Education. And Mary Peterson is Vermont's Tax Commissioner.
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We'll also hear about the challenges and possibilities of using human urine as fertilizer. The Rich Earth Institute in Brattleboro just received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to study if the pharmaceuticals in human waste make their way into groundwater and crops.
Broadcast live on Tuesday, February 4th at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.