Letter: Vermonters need answers, not 'everything grand' mentality

Posted
Editor of the Reformer,

In her commentary ("Cradle-to-career education system will grow Vt. economy," Sept. 26) Vermont Deputy Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey's first sentence wrongly informs people of two things. She states, "Recent trends show that Vermont's economy is strong and our schools are consistently ranked as some of the strongest in the country ..."

I am not sure where she is getting her information, but per capita income in Vermont is $30,000. And, having just left teaching after 25 years, I can confirm that our schools are not some of the best but are failing and will continue to fail due to the fact that neither the Republican or the Democratic candidates for Governor have any understanding of the problems facing education, not to mention the economy.

The unemployment rate in Vermont is said to be around 3 percent. That considers only those people currently collecting unemployment. If we consider people who have never worked, don't want to work or have dropped out of the work force due to frustration, that number is likely closer to 10 percent.

Ms. Bouchey needs to explain to Vermonters how a $30,000 per capita income shows a strong economy. The economy in Vermont is not doing well and the current Republican administration is talking about paying $10,000 dollars to people to come to Vermont because there are not enough workers here to fill the jobs.

There are not enough because Vermont students are graduating our high schools without the skills to take part in the work force. This does not suggest that Vermont has, as Ms. Bouchey touts, one of the best school systems. This administration wants it both ways and that just cannot be.

Vermont has big problems facing it and the head in the sand, "ain't everything grand" mentality promoted by the Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor have no chance of making it better.

What we need to do is go from 162 Supervisory Unions to 50. This will mean instead of one Union for every 1.5 towns it will be one Union for every five towns and save the Vermont taxpayer over $100 million dollars.

Vermonters need a livable wage but will also need to streamline Act 250, cut the tax on workmen's compensations and repeal Act 46.

Vermonter's need affordable health care but they do not need nor can they afford a carbon tax. Vermonters also must have answers to all the solar fields before more dot our landscape.

Vermonters need to know what they are getting in return from solar and who will be disposing of them when they are no longer useful.

These are a few of the things Vermonters need and some of the questions they need answered.

Charles Laramie

Independent candidate for governor

Fair Haven, Oct. 5


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