Last week, the Vermont Legislature resumed its 2020 session, reconvening to focus on the fiscal year 2021 state budget, additional Coronavirus Relief Funding, and a few remaining priority bills. The session will be a short one, with a target adjournment date of no later than September 25. I will do my best to keep you… Continue reading Fall Legislative Session Begins
In just a few short weeks, on Tuesday, September 8th, our public PK-12 schools will re-open for the 2020-21 school year. I have heard from dozens of parents, teachers, students, and school staff members who are anxious about whether opening our schools during a global pandemic is a good idea and how we can ensure children, teachers, staff, their families, and our communities can remain safe. As an education policy maker, member of the Senate Education Committee, and mother of three kids, my primary policy focus during this state of emergency has been our education system, from early childhood programs through colleges and universities, so I am writing to share my thoughts about this transition.
I hope you've been able to find ways to stay safe and cool during this heat wave! I'm writing to provide information about how to apply for some of the economic relief funding programs I outlined in my previous post, and to highlight a few major policy initiatives prioritized by the legislature during this unique session.
Last Friday, the Vermont Legislature recessed until August 25th, after an intense and historic six-month session filled with constant crisis management and a completely new mode of remote-legislating. So, I am writing to provide the first of two updates on the results of the legislative session thus far. This update will provide an overview of the funding decisions made by the Legislature and the next will provide information about some of the policy decisions made by the Legislature. The session culminated in a final week in which we passed major legislation and allocated nearly $700 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to aid Vermont's ongoing efforts to stave-off COVID-19 and begin a period of economic recovery.
Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and all of the graduates from local schools - many students graduated from elementary school, middle school, and high school this past week. It was the last week of school for most local students, and I know it came with a mix of emotions. Students were excited for the beginning of summer and an end to remote classes and online learning, and many were sad to that their daily connections to friends and teachers were ending without the fun and closure of a "regular" school year.