Letter: Local savings, local control

Posted
Editor of the Reformer:



It was great to be part of the well over 100 folks who showed up at Pliny Park two weeks ago in support of the state budget and in support of teachers, while similar gatherings happened all over the state. Our voices are needed. Governor Scott vetoed a budget that had passed nearly unanimously in the legislature (173-1 with all Republicans but one voting for it). It's a budget that was crafted based on consensus building and on listening to a wide-range of viewpoints. It's a budget that invests in affordable housing, clean water, child care, and tackling the opioid crisis, all by putting money into the projects with the best outcomes. This budget was designed to grow Vermont's economy without hurting the most vulnerable in our state OR raising property taxes. This is the kind of budget — and the kind of governing — that our state needs.

Unfortunately, Governor Scott vetoed it because the legislature refused to pass a last minute proposal of his that would take away teachers' rights to bargain for health care at the local level in favor of a statewide plan. He claims that that it would save money, but he refused to consider alternative proposals from the legislature that would save similar amounts of money, so it's become clear that at the heart of this issue is collective bargaining and how much local control communities are allowed to have over our schools.

In the end, this is about people. Schools and communities thrive when teachers are valued. Economies can grow and lift all boats when workers' rights to organize are protected. I am grateful that our local elected representatives continue to fight for local savings and local control.

Ann Braden,

Brattleboro, June 14

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