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Officials suggest cuts in education ahead of tax increase

January 19, 2018

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott has suggested a mandatory reduction of staff at public schools among other ideas on how to balance next year’s projected increase in the property tax rate.

Vermont Public Radio reports ideas include limiting which schools can raise their budgets and increasing the price teachers pay on their health insurance premiums.

Scott has blamed education spending for the 7 percent increase in property tax rates. The state is expected to spend $1.6 billion on educating 76,000 students this year, one of the highest per-pupil costs in the country.

Secretary of Administration Susanne Young released the list of ideas to lawmakers Thursday. According to the memo, increasing the staff-to-student ratio alone could save the state $30 million annually.

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