Education funding has, unfortunately, turned into one of the more contentiously political issues facing the Vermont Legislature. This past year, disagreement over the issue brought us two budget vetoes and an unprecedented near shut-down of state government. Yet, many of our elected officials (and even more of the candidates running for office) have a very superficial understanding of school budgets, offering tidy sound bites about “quality” or “affordability”, but very little by way of thoughtful analysis.
Enter Ruth Hardy, candidate for State Senate for Addison County.
At the recent candidate forum at Middlebury Union High School, Ruth demonstrated her deep and broad knowledge of how school budgets are written, and how those budgets translate to actual student experience. Not only has Ruth led the budget-writing process both pre- and post-Act 46 unification, but, as a parent who has guided three children through ACSD elementary, middle, and high schools, she has an intimate understanding of what difficult budget decisions actually mean, on the ground, for students, teachers, and parents – both good and bad.
We need legislators who truly understand the big issues; who will approach our most complex problems with a thoughtfulness unclouded by narrow political goals; who will govern towards the greater good, rather than personal goals.
In short, we need Ruth Hardy representing Addison County in the State Senate.
Eilat Glikman is a Professor of Physics at Middlebury College. Dave Silberman is an attorney, and has volunteered as campaign treasurer for Ruth Hardy; this letter is written in his personal capacity. This letter appeared in the Addison Independent on October 18.