Vermonters for Better Education
Return to Homepage | Return to VBE Index | Vermonters for Better Education Homepage
How to Privatize a Public School in Vermont: A Layman's Guide
In 1998, residents of the town of Winhall broke new ground by directing their School Board to close their public school, reconfigure it as a private school, and open the new school to students in the fall. The process involved a great deal of research, courage, and thoughtfulness and was not without controversy.
Since that time, other school boards around the state have desired information on the privatization process as they consider how to deal with escalating costs, the effects of Act 60, and conflicting community needs. Privatizing a public school can help communities maintain a school in their area even when shifting demographics shrink the pool of students. Privatizing a public school can give school leaders more flexibility in hiring teachers and designing curricula. It can also help a community save taxpayers’ money under certain circumstances.
Vermonters for Better Education has prepared this guidebook to help school boards, citizens, and parents understand the steps necessary on the road to privatization. It is important for readers to know, however, that this booklet is just a guide, not a legal handbook with all the answers. If privatization is in your school’s future, you should consult the Vermont Department of Education yourself for information, and use the services of legal experts and/or consultants to help you through the hurdles – both practical and "atmospheric" – that you will surely encounter.
This booklet was put together with information and help from numerous people. Carol Cone of the Winhall School Board was particularly generous with her time and materials from the Winhall experience. She deserves our heartfelt thanks. Thanks also go to Bill Reedy and Natalie Casco of the Vermont Department of Education, Bernier Mayo of St. Johnsbury Academy and Harry Chaucer of the Gailer School. Their materials and insights were invaluable.
Vermonters for Better Education
This is a publication of Vermonters for Better Education, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to enlisting parents and the public at large in achieving quality educational opportunities for all the children of Vermont. VBE will accomplish this by:
Table of Contents
"Privatization" means turning a public institution into an independent one. It involves closing down the public entity and opening an independent one. When a school board decides to privatize its public school, it is essentially turning its community into a "tuitioning" town and opening a new independent school all at the same time. In a nutshell, the process includes two major components:
The challenges involved in these actions are fairly straightforward. Although the state has not handled school privatization a great deal, the Winhall school experience has broadened the education department’s understanding of the legal issues. Don’t be afraid to call upon the Department of Education for guidance.
After a town decides to close the public school, those interested in turning it into an independent school encounter two new sets of challenges – the legal approval process for a new private school and the practical problems involved in setting up a new "business" – leasing space, hiring teachers and administrators, purchasing materials, etc.
In addition to these specific tasks, however, is a greater, more amorphous activity – ensuring that the public is aware of the privatization process, understands its value and its difficulties, and trusts the school board members and other personnel who will drive the process forward. For real success, it’s important not to underestimate the value of good communications with townspeople.
The move to privatize can come from various sources . School Board members, Select Board members, or groups of citizens can request that the issue be investigated. Townspeople who wish to investigate its implications and residents’ reactions might consider hiring a consultant or legal expert to guide them through the process. And, even before a vote is put to the public, residents should be kept informed of the privatization discussions.
The communication process could include surveying the public for their attitudes and responses to privatization, all the while making it clear exactly what the benefits of the transition are. There are many misperceptions about independent schools, for example, that might need to be debunked as townspeople move toward creating a new independent school. (These misperceptions are discussed later in this booklet.)
Once serious consideration begins, however, voters are required to weigh in with their approval. The citizens in a town must vote on several items during the privatization process. These vote possibilities include the following:
16 VSA 563 (7), 821 (d), 822, 562 (7), 3741
Obviously, the usual "warning" and ballot procedures must be followed when these issues are put to the electorate. In addition, laws governing campaigns and elections would apply to the campaign for passage of these ballot items. The school board itself, for example, could not use public resources to campaign for the initiatives. But groups of interested citizens could join forces, form a campaign group (political action committee), and raise and spend money to persuade their fellow voters to approve the ballot item(s). For information on election regulations and restrictions, contact the Secretary of State’s office at (802) 828-2464.
It is only natural that the closing of any public institution could ignite fearful and negative reactions. It is vitally important, therefore, that privatization proponents take the time to communicate candidly and frequently with the voters, and avoid becoming defensive about their position. It is also important that proponents not assume that the electorate understands the privatization process and its value to the community. Time and care should be taken, as in any election effort, to explain your positions and why voters should support the privatization.
The Winhall experience: An Ad Hoc Committee was formed in spring 1997 after implications of Act 60 were explained. After two months of meetings, the committee reported to Winhall residents that the town should restructure its school. Privatization was one of the options. More meetings were held and a community survey circulated throughout the next year. In the spring of 1998, the town voted to authorize the School Board to close the public school "if and when it is confident that the independent school will be able to open for the 1998-99 school year."
As you move forward with
the closure of your public school, be aware of a quirky section of the
statutes that prevents towns from paying tuition for private school kindergarten
if the town has maintained an elementary school since 1984. This statute
can be interpreted to mean that even closing a public elementary school
will not allow a town to use public funds for tuition for the kindergarten
at the new independent school – if a town operated an elementary school
since 1984. One possible solution to this problem is to form a private
foundation that pays for the kindergarten tuitions.
v Vermont statutes governing kindergarten v
16 VSA 821 (b) (2)
Chances are you will want to house your new independent school in your old public school building. If you decide to do this through a lease arrangement, once again you are obligated to put this issue to the voters if the lease is to run for more than three years. Even if the lease is for less than three years, you might still want to allow voters to approve it because it is, after all, their building.
Be aware, however, that there
are some unresolved issues concerning the leasing of public buildings for
private use. If your lease with the new independent school is too generous,
does it represent an unfair competitive advantage among the marketplace
of independent schools? That question has yet to be answered legally.
v Vermont statutes governing the school buildings v
16 VSA 562 (7), 3741
The Winhall experience: The Winhall School Board leases its school building to the new Mountain School on a percentage basis, designating the building as a community center as well. Winhall also faced a unique circumstance. It decided to privatize shortly after it had constructed a new building but before the state had transmitted the construction money. It lost the state construction money after the privatization decision was made.
When the public school in your town is dissolved, the teachers’ contracts must be dealt with in some way. This could be a particularly contentious issue and requires foresight, skill, and good legal advice. In fact, if privatization is in your future, timing it to coincide with the end of your current contracts could be to your benefit. If not, you will need to negotiate with your teachers to end the contracts. This could involve an attractive but expensive "career change incentive" package for them. Nonetheless, it could be more cost-effective to offer such packages than to face litigation from the union. Sound legal advice is essential in dealing with the union contracts.
An independent school is free to hire non-union teachers. But privatization doesn’t necessarily mean the end of union influence in the school because teachers are legally free to unionize if they so choose.
The Winhall experience: Full time teachers were offered a substantial buyout package and part-time teachers were offered a percentage of the full-time teachers’ package.
In many ways, opening the new independent school will be within the range of knowledge, expertise and experience of many people involved with the closed public school. Budgets, personnel decisions, physical plant maintenance – all these issues were regularly handled by the school board of the public school.
However, the new independent school will have its own board of directors. In order to keep the independent school truly independent, its board should not share members with the public school board.
The state Department of Education publishes a booklet entitled "General Information for Vermont Independent Schools" that contains the statutes and rules by which independent schools are governed. It can be ordered by calling Natalie Casco, independent school consultant, at (802) 235-2424 or writing her at Department of Education, 120 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602.
There are several organizations that can help support independent schools in the state. The Vermont Independent Schools Association, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Association of Independent Schools of New England can offer resources and expertise. See page 11 for phone numbers and addresses.
Once an independent school has received "general education" approval from the state, it can also seek "special education approval." Even without this approval, however, it is important to remember that the town is still responsible for its special education students. If the new independent school cannot accommodate them, planners would be wise to make this known at the outset in order to avoid contention in the future. Special education issues can be complex and difficult. As of this writing, new special education rules and regulations are being considered by the State Board of Education.
One area that the new school board might not be as familiar with is marketing and market research. The independent school will be able to draw students from outside the school district. In addition, now that the town’s public school is closed, parents will have the choice of where to send their children. The new independent school will not have a lock on these tuitions. It’s essential that the new school have a marketing strategy for ensuring that parents know about the opportunities available in the school for their children and why it’s an attractive educational option. The Vermont Independent Schools Association plans conferences on marketing, fund raising, and grant writing throughout the year.
Vermont statute governing independent schools
16 VSA 166
The Winhall experience: As Winhall moved forward with plans to privatize, School Board members visited small schools to see how they set up their curricula, handled costs, staff, extracurricular activities, library, etc. The "reviewers" took with them a prepared checklist so that when all the visits were complete, they compared similar information about each school.
Vermont has two classifications for independent schools – "recognized" and "approved." Both classifications signify that children can fulfill their compulsory education requirements at those schools. But only "approved" schools can receive public funds in the form of tuition payments.
A "recognized" school is one that has to follow a minimum amount of government regulation. These schools are required to file a yearly application with the state, but the application covers only basic information – for example, the school’s calendar, its contact person, its objectives, and assurances that the school will conduct assessments, take attendance and the like.
An "approved" Vermont independent school, on the other hand, has to provide more information to the state than a "recognized" one. It must follow Department of Education (DOE) rules regarding health and safety guidelines, financial capacity, staffing, etc. In addition, there is a DOE review process that includes a visit by at least two people after which a recommendation is made to the Education Commissioner (to approve or not approve the school) which in turn is passed on to the State Board of Education for their approval or disapproval.
"Recognized" independent schools cannot receive public funds in the form of tuition payments. "Approved" schools can as long as they are not sectarian.
The following questions must be answered by approved schools in order to comply with DOE rules and regulations:
As evidenced above, independent schools – especially those which can receive public funds – are not free of government regulation. But state oversight and intrusion into the school is lessened in some key areas:
The new independent school must decide if it wants to be approved only for "general education" or for "special education" as well. As noted earlier, it’s important to remember that the town is still responsible for its special education students regardless of how the independent school is configured. Often, the district Supervisory Union can provide guidance and support.
As you set up your new independent school, you have the opportunity to "start over" and handle some education issues differently than in the past. As you work through this process, here are some questions to think about:
On school governance and parental relations: 2
As you set up your independent school, there might be some people in your community who find it difficult to let go of the concept of a public school in town.
It’s important to remember that independent schools have been a part of American life since the beginning of the republic itself. It has only been since the mid- to late- 1800s that public schools began to spring up across the country.
Nonetheless, public schools have taken on an almost sacred place in many people’s minds and hearts. Alongside misperceptions about the history and role of public schools in America are misperceptions about the importance, value, and character of independent schools.
You might find, for example, that some people believe independent schools serve only the wealthy, are not diverse, and are not good at teaching democratic values. You should be prepared to answer these doubts with hard facts. And the facts are that independent schools in America are racially integrated, good at teaching tolerance, and excellent at imparting democratic values to their students. In fact, they often do a better job in these areas than their public school counterparts.
Those are the conclusions of a study of U.S. Department of Education data that was conducted by Jay P. Greene, a University of Texas assistant professor of government. His findings are included in the book "Learning from School Choice" published by the Brookings Institute in 1998.
Greene evaluated data from the Department of Education’s 1992 National Education Longitudinal Study to find information about racial integration, tolerance, community spirit, and "democratic values" for his study. Here’s what he found:
The road to privatization is paved with thoughtfulness, hard work, and consensus-building. This booklet won’t have all the answers to your questions as you start down that road. But it should provide you with some valuable information to get you started. For more answers, however, the following contacts should prove helpful:
Winhall also had full support of the Superintendent of the local Supervisory Union. Both Mountain School and town had supporting legal counsel throughout.
§ 166. Approved and recognized independent schools
(a) An independent school may operate and provide elementary education or secondary education if it is either approved or recognized as set forth herein.
(b) Approved independent schools. -- On application, the state board shall approve an independent school which offers elementary or secondary education if it finds, after opportunity for hearing, that the school provides a minimum course of study and that it substantially complies with the board's rules for approved independent schools. Except as provided in subdivision (6) of this section, the board's rules must at minimum require that the school has the resources required to meet its stated objectives, including financial capacity, faculty who are qualified by training and experience in the areas in which they are assigned, and physical facilities and special services that are in accordance with any state or federal law or regulation. Approval may be granted without state board evaluation in the case of any school accredited by a private, state or regional agency recognized by the state board for accrediting purposes.
(2) Approvals under this section shall be for a term established by rule of the board but not greater than five years.
(3) An approved independent school shall provide to the parent or guardian responsible for each of its pupils, prior to accepting any money for that pupil, an accurate statement in writing of its status under this section, and a copy of this section. Failure to comply with this provision may create a permissible inference of false advertising in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 2005.
(4) Each approved independent school shall provide to the commissioner on October 1 of each year the names and addresses of its enrolled pupils. Within seven days of the termination of a pupil's enrollment, the approved independent school shall notify the commissioner of the name and address of the pupil. The commissioner shall forthwith notify the appropriate school officials as provided in section 1126 of this title.
(5) The state board may revoke or suspend the approval of an approved independent school, after opportunity for hearing, for substantial failure to comply with the minimum course of study, for failure to comply with the board's rules for approved independent schools, or for failure to report under subdivision
(b)(4) of this section. Upon revocation or suspension, students required to attend school who are enrolled in that school shall become truant unless they enroll in an approved public school, approved or recognized independent school or approved home instruction program.
(6) This subdivision applies to an independent school located in Vermont which offers a program of elementary or secondary education through correspondence, electronic mail, satellite communication or other means and which, because of its structure, does not meet some or all the rules of the state board for approved independent schools. In order to be approved under this subdivision, a school shall meet the standards adopted by rule of the state board for approved independent schools which can be applied to the applicant school and any other standards or rules adopted by the state board regarding these types of schools. A school approved under this subdivision shall not be eligible to receive tuition payments from public school districts under chapter 21 of this title. However, a school district may enter into a contract or contracts with a school approved under this subdivision for provisions of some education services for its students.
(1) The enrollment notice shall contain the following information and assurances:(A) a statement that the school will be in session an amount of time substantially equivalent to that required for public schools;(2) If the commissioner has information that creates significant doubt about whether the school would be able to meet the requirements set forth above, the commissioner may call a hearing. At the hearing, the school shall establish that it can meet the requirements for recognized independent schools. Failure to do so shall result in a finding by the commissioner that the school must take specified action to come into compliance within a specified time frame or the children enrolled must attend another recognized independent school, approved independent or public school, or home study program, or be declared truant unless absent with legal excuse.
(B) a detailed description or outline of the minimum course of study for each grade level the school offers, and how the annual assessment of each pupil will be performed; and
(C) assurances that:(i) the school will prepare and maintain attendance records for each pupil enrolled or regularly attending classes;
(ii) at least once each year the school will assess each pupil's progress, and will maintain records of that assessment, and present the result of that assessment to each student's parent or guardian;
(iii) the school's educational program will include the minimum course of study set forth in section 906 of this title; and
(iv) the school will have teachers and materials sufficient to carry out the school's educational program; and
(v) the school will meet such state and federal laws and regulations concerning its physical facilities and health and safety matters as are applicable to recognized independent schools.
(3) A recognized independent school shall provide to each student's parent or guardian a copy of its currently filed statement of objectives and a copy of this section. The copy shall be provided when the pupil enrolls or before September 1, whichever comes later. Failure to comply with this subsection may create a permissible inference of false advertising in violation of section 2005 of Title 13.
(4) A recognized independent school shall renew its enrollment notice annually. An independent school shall be recognized for a period not to exceed five years by the commissioner without need for filing an annual enrollment notice if:(A) it is recognized by an organization approved by the state board for the purpose of recognizing such school, or(5) If the commissioner has information that creates significant doubt about whether the school, once in operation, is meeting the requirements for recognized independent schools, the commissioner may call a hearing. At the hearing, the school shall establish that it has met the requirements for recognized independent schools. Failure to do so shall result in a finding by the commissioner that:
(B) it is accredited by a private, state or regional agency approved by the state board for accrediting purposes. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit the commissioner from initiating a hearing under this section.(A) the school may not be in operation for the remainder of the school year and that the children are truant unless absent with legal excuse or enrolled in an approved public or independent school, another recognized independent school or a home study program; or(6) Each recognized independent school shall provide to the commissioner on October 1 of each year the names and addresses of its enrolled pupils. Within seven days of the termination of a pupil's enrollment, the recognized independent school shall notify the commissioner of the name and address of the pupil. The commissioner shall forthwith notify the appropriate school officials designated in section 1126 of this title.
(B) the school must take specified action to come into compliance within a specified time frame or the school will not be permitted to operate for the remainder of the school year.
(7) After the filing of the enrollment notice or at a hearing, if the school is unable to comply with any specific requirements due to deep religious conviction shared by an organized group, the commissioner may waive such requirements if he or she determines that the educational purposes of this subsection are being or will be substantially met.
(d) Council of independent schools. -- A council of independent schools is created consisting of eleven members, no fewer than three of whom shall be representatives of recognized independent schools. The commissioner shall appoint nine members from within the independent schools' community. The commissioner shall appoint two members from the public-at- large. Each member shall serve for two years and may be reappointed for up to an additional two terms, except that five of the first eleven appointments shall be for an initial term of one year. The council shall hold its organizational meeting before March 1, 1990 at the call of the commissioner and shall adopt rules for its own operation. A chair shall be elected by and from among the members. The duties of the council shall include advising the commissioner on policies and procedures with respect to independent schools. No hearing shall be initiated before the state board or by the commissioner under this section until the recommendations of the council have been sought and received. The recommendations of the advisory council, including any minority reports, shall be admissible at the hearing.
(e) The board of trustees of an independent school operating in Vermont shall adopt harassment policies, establish procedures for dealing with harassment of students and provide notice of these as provided in section 565 of this title for public schools, except that the board shall follow its own procedures for adopting policy.
(f) An approved independent school which accepts students for whom the district of residence pays tuition under chapter 21 of this title shall bill the sending district monthly for a state-placed student and shall not bill the sending district for any month in which the state-placed student was not enrolled.
(g) An approved independent school which accepts students for whom the district of residence pays tuition under chapter 21 of this title shall use the assessment or assessments required under subdivision 164(9) of this title to measure attainment of standards for student performance of those pupils. In addition the school shall provide data related to the assessment or assessments as required by the commissioner. (Amended 1989, No. 44, § 1; 1993, No. 162 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1995, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1997, No. 60, § 5, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 84 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 562. Powers of electorate
At a school district meeting the electorate:
(1) Shall conduct meetings in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, unless other rules of order are specifically adopted at a meeting;
(2) Shall elect a moderator at the annual meeting who shall preside at the district meetings, regulate the business thereof, decide questions of order, and make a public declaration of every vote. He may administer oaths to district officers and newly elected school board members. In his absence a moderator pro tempore shall be chosen to preside;
(3) May elect a school district clerk at the annual meeting who shall keep a true record of all proceedings at each district meeting, certify its records, make an attested copy of any records of the district for any person upon request and tender of reasonable fees therefor, if so appointed serve as secretary of the school board, and perform such other duties as may be required by law;
(4) May authorize the school board to retain a public accountant, licensed in this state, to examine the accounts of the treasurer and the school board at the close of each fiscal year and at such other times whenever necessary, and report to the district whether the same are correctly cast and properly vouched;
(5) May vote annual salaries for school board members;
(6) May authorize the payment of actual and necessary expenses of school board members when traveling in the performance of duty;
(7) May authorize the school board to enter into leases of real or personal property for more than three years, to purchase buildings or sites for school purposes, to locate and erect schoolhouses, and to sell, or otherwise dispose of, schoolhouses or sites for same;
§ 563. Powers of school boards
The school board of a school district, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law: ……
(7) May relocate or discontinue use of a schoolhouse or facility, subject to the provisions of section 821 and section 822 of this title.
§ 821. School district to maintain public elementary schools or pay tuition
(a) Elementary school. -- Each school district shall provide, furnish, and maintain one or more approved schools within the district in which elementary education for its pupils is provided unless:
(2) The school district is organized to provide only high school education for its pupils.
(3) Otherwise provided for by the general assembly.
(2) if the electorate authorizes the school board to pay tuition to one or more independent schools approved by the state board, but only if the school district did not operate a kindergarten on September 1, 1984, and has not done so afterward.
(d) Notwithstanding subsection
(a) of this section, the electorate of a school district that does not
maintain an elementary school may grant general authority to the school
board to pay tuition for elementary pupils at approved independent nonresidential
elementary schools upon request of a pupil's parent or guardian, if in
the board's judgment the pupil's educational interests can be better served
there. The board's decision shall be final in regard to the institution
the pupil may attend. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 52; amended
1985, No. 71, § 4; 1987, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.); 1989, No. 271 (Adj.
Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1991, No. 24, § 11.)
§ 822. School districts to maintain high schools or pay tuition
(a) Each school district shall provide, furnish, and maintain one or more approved high schools in which high school education is provided for its pupils unless:
(2) The school district is organized to provide only elementary education for its pupils.
(c) The school board may both maintain a high school and furnish high school education by paying tuition to a public school as in the judgment of the board may best serve the interests of the pupils, or to an approved independent school if the board judges that a pupil has unique educational needs that cannot be served within the district or at a nearby public school. Its judgment shall be final in regard to the institution the pupils may attend at public cost. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 53; amended 1977, No. 33, § 2; 1989, No. 271 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1991, No. 24, § 2; 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 85, eff. March 11, 1998.)
§ 823. Elementary tuition
Tuition for elementary pupils shall be paid by the district in which the pupil is a resident. The tuition paid to a public elementary school shall be at a rate not greater than the calculated net cost per elementary pupil in average daily membership in the receiving school district for the year of attendance. The tuition paid to an approved independent elementary school shall not exceed the lesser of (1) the average announced tuition of Vermont union elementary schools for the year of attendance or (2) the tuition charged by the public elementary school attended by the greatest number of the district's pupils. (Added 1969, No. 298 (Adj. Sess.), § 54; amended 1989, No. 271 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)
§ 824. High school tuition
(a) Tuition for high school pupils shall be paid by the school district in which the pupil is a resident.
(b) Except as otherwise provided for technical students, the district shall pay the full tuition charged its pupils attending an approved public high school in Vermont or an adjoining state, or a public or independent school in Vermont functioning as an approved area technical center, or an independent school meeting public school standards. However, if a payment made to an approved public high school or an independent school meeting public school standards is three percent more or less than the calculated net cost per secondary pupil in average daily membership in the receiving school district for the year of attendance then the district shall be reimbursed, credited or refunded pursuant to section 836 of this title, unless otherwise agreed to by the boards of both the receiving and sending districts or independent schools.
(c) For students in grades
7 and 8, the district shall pay an amount not to exceed the average announced
tuition of Vermont union high schools for students in grades 7 and 8 for
the year of attendance for its pupils enrolled in an approved independent
school not functioning as a Vermont area technical center, or any higher
amount approved by the electorate at an annual or special meeting warned
for that purpose. For students in grades 9-12, the district shall pay an
amount not to exceed the average announced tuition of Vermont union high
schools for students in grades 9-12 for the year of attendance for its
pupils enrolled in an approved independent school not functioning as a
Vermont area technical center, or any higher amount approved by the electorate
at an annual or special meeting warned for that purpose. (Added 1969, No.
298 (Adj. Sess.), § 55; amended 1971, No. 52, § 5, eff. April
14, 1971; 1975, No. 27, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1976; 1983, No. 247 (Adj.
Sess.), § 3; 1991, No. 24, § 3; 1991, No. 24, § 3; 1991,
No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1995, No. 34, § 2; 1997, No. 60, §
8, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 86, eff. March
11, 1998; No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 21.)
§ 3741. School buildings
Each town district shall
provide, furnish, maintain and control schoolhouses suitable for schools
under the provisions of this title. When so authorized by the town district,
the board of school directors shall have power to lease or purchase buildings
or sites for schoolhouses, locate and erect schoolhouses, and sell or otherwise
dispose of schoolhouses or sites for same. A school district which issues
bonded debt to pay for capital construction costs under this section is
authorized under the provisions of sections 428 and 511 of this title to
levy ad valorem taxes on the grand list to pay for debt service therefor
as it becomes due and payable, and shall do so unless otherwise payable
from other sources. (Amended 1997, No. 71 (Adj. Sess.), § 89, eff.
March 11, 1998.)
1. There are slightly different statutes governing elementary and secondary schools, so it’s important to refer to the relevant statutes depending on your situation.
2. These questions were compiled by Harry Chaucer, Ed.D., founder and headmaster of The Gailer School in Shelburne. They were presented at a June 22, 1998 conference entitled “How to Start an Independent School” sponsored by Resources for Vermont Education.