David Clark

‘This thinking isn’t gonna go down too well at the Union Hall’

For those of you in the Windham Northeast wondering how negotiations are going, I've got news for you: Thanks to Susan Smallheer's recent story in the Brattleboro Reformer ["Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, teachers' union, head to mediation," March 11] you already know as much as the school boards do, which is: It's headed for mediation.

Let me explain.

Right now, it looks like after making nicey-nicey with the Windham Northeast Education Association for a few negotiating sessions, we just didn't manage to cuddle the teachers union quite hard enough.

But I don't actually know, because our board negotiators won't tell us.

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Of course, the PCB lawsuit is a conflict

Can an attorney provide unbiased advice to school boards in matters involving PCBs, of which there will be many, when he is orchestrating a lawsuit that can yield a seven- or eight-figure contingency?

Early in April, Attorney Pietro Lynn of the Burlington Law firm Lynn, Lynn, Blackman & Manitsky made an overture to superintendents of schools all across Vermont to join him an a suit against the chemical giant Monsanto over the widespread PCB contamination that is emerging as a significant health...

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Educational advocacy groups promote an unpalatable gutting of local control with Act 46

The fur is starting to fly as a consequence of Governor Phil Scott's willful misunderstanding of collective bargaining law as it applies to teacher health benefits and the continuing fallout from the pushback against the statewide school consolidations mandated under Vermont Act 46. But one positive result of all...

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How did we get into this mess? Look back to Act 60.

As most people are well aware by now, the Legislature and Governor Phil Scott are at an impasse over the state budget, and the sticking point seems to be Scott's strong desire to utilize the putative potential savings that the new health insurance coverages might generate. More specifically, the governor has based his calculations on what would happen of teachers picked up 20 percent of their premium costs. Well, the dumb farmers and truck drivers down here in Windham Northeast...

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Act 46: the death knell of local control

The so-called “Brigham decision,” which was the opening salvo in the Legislature's attempt to create the equality of school funding mandated by the Vermont Supreme Court, was also the beginning of the end of local control over public schools. Act 46, with its disingenuous mandate to effect educational “equity, accountability, and transparency” in the form of super-sized school districts, is the death knell of local control. The fundamental flaw which has underpinned all of Vermont tax policy since the arrival...

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