MONTPELIER – After it was reported that Vermont is considering a unification of all of its state colleges last week, new information has come out regarding the possibility of the state merging all of its school districts into one mega-union. This new district would serve all students in Vermont from kindergarten through grade 12 and would seek to lower the rising cost of education administration.
“Nothing has been decided yet,” said education department employee Wanda Rumskool-Haus, “but it’s something we’re considering. With most students learning from home anyway, does it really matter where their administration offices are located? No one is actually working in the physical offices anyway, so why pay for them? This consolidation would bring all Vermont schools under the same umbrella, making things generally more fair and equitable. Plus we could fire 90% of the administrative staff in this state, lowering taxes.”
Several local school administrators objected to the plan on the grounds that they did not want to be fired, and also that they really didn’t want to be fired. Parents around the state had mixed opinions, with some praising the idea of lowering taxes, while others reluctant to give up their small amount of control over their children’s education.
“What about when the pandemic is over and kids are all back in school again?” asked Montpelier parent Becca N. Meiday. “Are they going to put every kid in Vermont into one giant school? This makes no sense. Why can’t they just leave things alone?”
Rumskool-Haus admitted that there were no plans for post-pandemic schooling currently being discussed. “But I do like that idea of putting everyone together. Our high schoolers could really use more nap times, and think of how much the kindergardeners are going to love calculus!”
You laugh, but the state of Hawaii, which has twice the population of VT, is a single school district. And it works pretty well.
This would actually cost more. First, you’d have to redirect the administrative budget and salaries to upgrade every home with high-speed internet access. Then you’d have to replace the administrators with an equal number of IT support people. The first year, then, you’d have the cost of both the upgrade and the tech staff. The second year, assuming school administrators make more than IT folk, you’d begin to gain ground, and you ought to break even about the next time Jupiter and Saturn align.
We are very bad at budgeting around here.