School Finance in Vermont: Balancing Equal Education and Fair Tax Burdens School Finance in Vermont: Balancing Equal Education and Fair Tax Burdens

This paper discusses Vermont's education finance system - the Equal Educational Opportunity Act (Act 60) - and current challenges. That Act was passed in response to a 1997 state Supreme Court ruling that directed the Legislature to establish a system of education finance that would afford "substantially equal opportunity" to all Vermont schoolchildren. To accomplish this objective, the Act redefined property wealth-for educational purposes-as a state resource. Act 60 and its successor, Act 68, both narrowed disparities in educational funding across school districts. But the issue of who pays for education remains contentious, with calls for further reform driven by the perception that education property tax burdens are unreasonably high and remain inequitable.

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