Thursday, February 26, 2015

WVTK Local & State News February 26, 2015

The Vermont House Education Committee is set to release a bill today reforming the state education system. A key component of the draft bill is an effort to create integrated education systems of one-thousand-250 students by July of 2019. The measure will also keep small schools grants unchanged until 2020, but they will only continue in certain circumstances after that date.

Voters in the UD-3 School District approved $400,000 for capital improvements. Around 20 resident attended the UD-3 Annual Meeting on Tuesday Night to discuss the proposed $17-million budget for next year. Also during the meeting, a $400,000 capital improvements measure passed unanimously by a voice vote. The improvements include: renovating the bathrooms outside of the MUHS auditorium, renovating four MUHS science classrooms, making sure key windows at MUMS are shatter-proof, for security reasons, and improving security, including the installation of additional cameras at both MUMS and MUHS.

A key Vermont lawmaker says a firearms bill that drew a huge crowd to a recent Statehouse hearing will not get a vote this year. Bennington Senator Dick Sears says the bill is no longer on the table, a comment made after he told gun supporters that he does not fear them. The measure would have required nearly all firearms sales to go through a background check and a federally licensed firearms dealer. Governor Peter Shumlin, hunters and Vermont police chiefs all have expressed opposition to the measure.

The Monkton Central School will soon begin looking for a new principal. Principal Susan Stewart, who was hired in 2010, was on unpaid leave. Earlier this month, she submitted a letter of resignation to the school board. In Stewart’s letter, she did not explain why she was resigning. The school board has hired Betsy Knox as interim principal for the rest of this year.

Vermont has a new law that tightens reporting restrictions for convicted sex offenders. Governor Peter Shumlin yesterday signed into law a measure requiring offenders to report to Vermont's registry within 24 hours of release. They previously had up to three days to report on where they would be living. Shumlin calls it common sense legislation that will make Vermont a safer place for everyone.