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CONFERENCE: Public Education that Works for All Children

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Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center

100 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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Please join us for our Vermont Education Equity Conference

Pre-conference school funding seminar

8:30 am – 9:45 am Vermont’s School Funding 101

Stephanie Yu, Policy Analyst, Public Assets Institute

  • If you're new to Vermont school finance, or rusty on the basics, this seminar is for you.

Vermont Education Equity Conference: Public Education that Works for All Children

10:00 - Opening remarks and introductions

Carlen Finn, Executive Director, Voices for Vermont's Children

10:15 - Keynote Address: Pulling Together for a Public Education System that Works for all Children

John Castle, Superintendent, North Country Supervisory Union, Newport

11:00 - Panel: All in for Public Education—it takes our state, communities and schools pulling together for all kids.

  • Paul Cillo, President, Public Assets Institute
  • Breena Holmes, MD, Maternal and Child Health Director, Vermont Department of Health
  • Margaret Maclean, International Education Consultant. Former Vermont principal and member of the State Board of Education

Noon - Lunch

1:00 - Issue workshops

1) The Foundation of Equity: Vermont’s school funding system matters

Paul Cillo, President, Public Assets Institute & Stephanie Yu, Policy Analyst, Public Assets Institute

  • Equitable collection and distribution of school funding is essential for public education to work for all children. Twenty years ago, Vermont enacted Act 60, the most equitable school funding system in the country. And every year since 1997 there have been proposals to change the system. Some have become law. But have these proposals made the system better for Vermont kids? This workshop will explore key principles at the core of Act 60, and how citizens can help to ensure that changes to the funding system benefit kids.

2) Addressing Education Inequities: Two Programs that Work

Panel: Holly Morehouse, Executive Director of Vermont Afterschool & Jay Diaz, Esq., Staff Attorney ACLU of Vermont

  • This workshop will provide data that highlight outcomes for key student populations (i.e. low-income students, students with IEPs). It will feature research and data about promising practices and programs that help improve student outcomes -- afterschool, summer, and expanded learning programs and positive behavior and restorative justice practices. Please come prepared to share your experiences with programs and practices that work to address inequities experienced by some of our children and families.

3) Mining our Community Assets: School boards make a difference

Allen Gilbert is a former journalist, teacher, civil liberties advocate, and executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont.

  • School boards are the governing bodies responsible for ensuring that all children in a community get a good education. An essential part of the school governance structure, they provide a link between the school and the state, and between the school and the community. This workshop will review the powers of community school boards and their history in the evolution of public education in Vermont and will discuss 21st Century opportunities for engaging communities with their schools.

4) Strengthening Families and Communities: Working together for positive education outcomes

Breena Holmes, MD, Maternal and Child Health Director, Vermont Department of Health

  • This workshop will explore how Vermont communities are working together to strengthen families, promote protective factors and mitigate the effects of toxic stress. Using the NEAR science (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resilience), we will increase our understanding of how experiences in childhood affect lifelong health and educational outcomes.

2:15 - Break

2:30 - Influence area workshops

  • What can we do together at the state level, in our communities and in our schools?

3:45 - Report back and wrap up

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Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center

100 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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