WATERBURY – Amidst criticism to his approach on education, Vermont Governor Phil Scott has doubled down on his idea that fewer teachers will better serve the state’s students. A new proposal from the governor’s office is asking for $150 million to build an enormous one-room schoolhouse in Little River State Park. This facility, designed by the same firm that was responsible for Millenium Stadium in Wales, will house all of Vermont’s K-12 students with a capacity of just over 100K.
The central Waterbury location should, according to the plan, make it convenient for all students to attend and, with only one teacher’s salary to pay, Governor Scott said he expects whomever is selected for the job to receive up to a ten percent increase in their current compensation. Overall the plan is expected to save residents of the state millions with only one facility to maintain and one employee on staff.
Some questions have been raised about how the children would get to the school, especially those who do not live in Little River State Park, and about who will pay for these expenses. The proposal calls for communities to contribute to the purchase and upkeep of self-driving buses and, for those in more remote locations, child delivery drones. Gov. Scott said he hopes that no child will have more than a two-hour commute to the new super-structure, and that the time getting back and forth from the school can be spent on homework and other activities.
Some lawmakers seem to be in favor of the plan, calling it “and end to the ongoing headache that is our children’s futures,” while other have expressed concern over the loss of individual sports teams, noting that “towns may not know which communities they should hate anymore if we put them all on the same team.”
The single-building, single-teacher plan is expected to be debated during the next legislative session.