For Immediate Release
January 22, 2016

Rep. Don Turner

House Democrats Vote to Keep Vermont School Boards in the Dark

Montpelier, Vt. – On Friday, the Vermont Republican House Caucus put forward language sponsored by Rep. Paul Dame (R-Essex) for immediate consideration that would hold school boards harmless of changes to the adjustable growth percentage in Act 46 because of errors in the Agency of Education’s error.

“We owe it to the hard working school boards who did what we asked – who played by the rules – to hold them harmless.  While even the Speaker seems unclear as to what other changes should be made – I think this one issue we can all agree on and move quickly.” said Rep. Dame

“During vote explanations some members said the move was against the committee process,” continued Dame. “But my bill was drafted with the exact language from an amendment that the House Education committee already approved unanimously.”

“At the end of the day despite being in the minority Republicans were able to get something done today,” added House Minority Leader Don Turner.  “When Rep. Dame put this forward as an amendment to Act 46, it passed the House Education Committee in an 11-0 vote.  I am disappointed that the House Democrats are once again playing politics with this very difficult process for our school boards. When we adjourned for our caucus at 10 AM the Education committee had nothing solid and school boards were still in limbo.  By the time we returned to deliberations at 11 AM, the committee had met and passed a bill that they had been debating since the first day of the session.  This gave the majority time to come up with an explanation for opposing a thoughtful solution with broad bipartisan support, simply because it was offered by a Republican.  Republicans and Independents felt the need to move forward on the areas we agree, but the Democrats in power voted to hold up the process.”
The roll call vote to allow this legislation to be considered today failed on a 57 in favor -85 opposed partisan votes with Republicans and Independents united in favor of the fix, all Democrats and Progressives opposed.
Vermonters deserve better!
Thank you