School districts big and small pressured to cut staff

November 6, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Schools in Vermont’s most populous county have not seen enrollment drop as steeply as rural districts, but they are still facing pressure to cut staff.

Vermont Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe cited a $50 million budget gap last month when she called on all school districts to examine their student-to-teacher ratios.

Some in Chittenden County say bigger districts need more resources because they have more students with special needs, more low-income students and more students learning English.

Burlington School District Superintendent Yaw Obeng tells the Burlington Free Press he has spoken with state officials to discuss how Burlington’s needs differ from other districts.

An education department spokeswoman says the student population has dropped by 20 percent statewide, with steeper drops in smaller districts.

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