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Bill would attach strings to public funds to independent schools

first_imgby Alicia Freese February 28, 2013 vtdigger.org As the national debate about charter schools rages, a variant of that discussion has unfolded in the Vermont Legislature. The movement underfoot ‘ set in motion by Senate Bill 91’ would attach more strings to the public funding paid to the independent schools.Proponents say the bill is about leveling the playing field for public schools and is not intended as an anti-independent school piece of legislation. But opponents say it fundamentally misunderstands how independent schools operate, and it shackles them with mandates that could spell their doom.View of a school bus through a rainy window.School choice policy in Vermont allows public funding to follow some students ‘ many of whom hail from towns without a public school option ‘ from the sending town to the receiving school. Under this setup, independent schools often receive, to varying degrees, public dollars for a portion of their student body.S.91 was introduced by three members of the Senate Education Committee ‘ Sens. Richard McCormack, Don Collins and David Zuckerman ‘ and Sen. Richard Sears, D-Bennington. It lays out five major mandates for independent schools:‘¢ Adhere to a ‘ blind admissions’ policy. This means all publicly funded students would be accepted on a space-available basis.‘¢ Provide free and reduced lunch to students who qualify under USDA guidelines.‘¢ Subject students to the same testing regimen that public students take part in.‘¢ Require teachers to be licensed by the state.‘¢ Obtain certification in four different categories of special education. There a slightly over a dozen special education categories designated by the Agency of Education.Of the 125 independent schools across the state, the bill would impact about 15, since it applies only to schools where at least a third of the student body consists of publicly funded students. Some of these schools already comply with some of S.91’ s requirements.Declining enrollment ‘ a statewide trend ‘ has led to situations where school districts, seeking to boost enrollment, are competing for tuition dollars with nearby independent schools.‘ If this were 30 years ago and schools were bursting at the seams from too many kids, it would be great if a couple of kids went off to independent schools,’ said McCormack, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.Sen. Dick McCormack. File photo by Alan PanebakerThe scramble for students has led to calls for stricter state regulation of independent schools.Proponents of the bill ‘ the Vermont National Education Association (NEA) and the Vermont School Board Association number among them ‘ say independent schools have an unfair advantage when vying for students since they aren’ t saddled with the same requirements ‘ like providing the entire array of special education services ‘ as public schools.Tom Honigford, who serves on the South Royalton School Board, said independent schools ‘ don’ t play by the same set of rules. They can pick and choose which students they want and which services they want to offer. They aren’ t encumbered by the same rules we are.’Honigford is a former teacher at The Sharon Academy, an independent school in Sharon, which borders South Royalton.The bill is lurching through the legislative process. Senators on the Education Committee say they’ ve received a deluge of mail from people who object to it, and the committee has heard testimony from two headmasters and several parents from schools that stand to be affected.‘ The opponents have done a masterful job of marshaling their forces,’ McCormack observed.McCormack, who is a sponsor of the bill, acknowledged that it’ s riddled with ‘ poison pills’ ‘ certain provisions that spur a toxic backlash ‘ which, he added, the committee plans to address.But the opponents who gave testimony took issue with the very underpinnings of the bill ‘ objecting both to the intent of the bill, which they say would squash innovation at their independent schools, and the fact that the dictates come unaccompanied by any offer of state funding.The executive director of the Vermont Independent Schools Association, Mill Moore, said, ‘ There are philosophical objection here as far as state intrusion into places that it has never gone before and there are practical issues such as if you’ re going to impose requirements on school meals and teacher licensure, these are all unfunded mandates. Some of these small schools are really operating very close to the edge financially and if you put a major financial burden on them, they just couldn’ t possibly comply. That would mean they would have to give up taking publically tuitioned students and in some cases that’ s virtually their entire enrollment, so that would simply put them out of business.’Jennifer Sterling, a parent at Riverside School in Lyndonville ‘ one of the schools slated to see changes under S.91 ‘ told the Senate Education Committee that she moved to Vermont from Florida so that her children could attend Riverside.‘ We realized that we were never going to have enough money to live in an area where we could send our kids to public school that would meet our needs, and we were never going to have enough money to pay for private school for two children,’ she said.Sterling said she was drawn to Riverside because it offers an education tailored to the needs of her children at an affordable price. Asking independent schools to adhere to a ‘ blind admissions’ policy would do away with that specificity, Sterling said.If the bill is an ‘ effort to make all schools accommodate all children, then you’ re making everything bland. You’ re getting rid of all of the seasoning and flavor,’ she said, adding that the bill could lead to prohibitive tuition costs for her and her husband. ‘ If it came down to price ‘¦ then as a teacher and a nurse, we are out-priced.’Debate, which has taken place throughout the week, has become inverted at times, with headmasters calling on legislators to lessen the regulation for public schools rather than intensifying it for independent schools.‘ Why not release the public teachers from some of the things that prohibit them from doing what we do?’ asked Julie Hansen, head of school at the Thaddeus Stevens School in Lyndon.Independent school headmasters took pains to combat the perception that they ‘ cherry-pick’ the most promising kids from surrounding districts.Joel Cook, executive director of the Vermont NEA, said independent schools’ admissions policies allow for de facto discrimination, which creates a liability issue for the state when public dollars are at play. ‘ I’ m not sure what the argument is for an independent school to discriminate against citizens ‘¦ [The bill] simply says, like any other institution that receives public funds, we don’ t sanction discrimination.’Opponents also told lawmakers S.91 would stifle the socioeconomic diversity they currently enjoy at their schools by forcing them to increase tuition.Michael Livingston, head of school at The Sharon Academy, told the committee, ‘ It is going to very adversely impact our ability to run our school. We would have to charge additional to our families and frankly we’ d drive away the low-income families who create socioeconomic diversity.’The Sharon Academy ‘ with 85 percent of its student body publically funded ‘ has been at the fore of the debate.Zuckerman explained that the bill seeks to appease taxpayers who want to ‘ make sure their dollars are spent as effectively and transparently as possible.’ But, he added, ‘ sometimes what that leads to, for publicly elected officials, is reacting to those pressures with more and more rules about how that money is spent, which then leads to some of these shackles and requirement for testing, etc., etc.’A similar but more expansive version of this legislation was introduced in the Senate two years ago but did not gain traction.Disclaimer: VTDigger reporter Alicia Freese graduated from The Sharon Academy in 2006, where Michael Livingston currently serves as head of school and Tom Honigford formerly taught. Freese’ s partner, Charles Enscoe, works for the Vermont School Board Association, Vermont Superintendents’ Association and the Vermont Principals’ Association.last_img read more

IATA outlines air cargo agenda

first_imgSpeaking at the World Cargo Symposium, taking place in Dallas, USA, Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo, said: “Air cargo had an exceptional year in 2017 with 9 percent growth. And we expect a very healthy 4.5 percent expansion of demand in 2018.”But we must accelerate the modernisation of processes, enforce regulations for the safe transport of lithium batteries and improve the efficiency of trade facilitation. Longer-term, we also need to inspire the next generation of talent. The air cargo industry has agreed to focus on these key areas and we must follow through.”According to IATA, its industry transformation programme, Simplifying the Business (StB) Cargo, is supporting the modernisation and digital transformation processes. IATA’s Future Air Cargo Executives (FACE) programme aims at attracting, retaining and developing a diverse pool of young professionals to prepare them to become the next generation of leaders. www.iata.orglast_img read more

Former UK star to host free football camp

first_imgNew York Jets' Richie Anderson (20) loses the ball as he is hit by Carolina Panthers' Dean Wells (95) in the first quarter at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday Oct. 28, 2001. Carolina Panthers' Rashard Anderson recovered the fumble and ran it back 97 yards for a touchdown.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)New York Jets’ Richie Anderson (20) loses the ball as he is hit by Carolina Panthers’ Dean Wells (95) in the first quarter at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday Oct. 28, 2001. Carolina Panthers’ Rashard Anderson recovered the fumble and ran it back 97 yards for a touchdown.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)Former University of Kentucky and NFL linebacker Dean Wells will return to his alma mater on Friday to host a free football camp for 3rd-8th graders at Holy Cross High School. Registration forms for the non-contact camp are available at holycrosshs.com by clicking the Athletics and Summer Camps tabs, or they may be completed in person from 8:15-9 a.m. Friday at the school, which is located at 5144 Dixie Highway in Louisville. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and free lunch and T-shirt will be provided for each participant.Wells was a team captain as a senior in 1992, and the Seattle Seahawks picked him in the fourth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. The four-time All-SEC Academic Team member played in the NFL through 2001, a run that saw him amass more than 500 tackles with the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers.For more information, contact Todd Crumbacker at [email protected] or 502-930-8947.last_img read more

And they’re off at Ascot

first_imgBy BEN CAMERON THE first real signs of progress at the new housing development on the old Pakenham racetrack emerged…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

EPCR Announce Details of Rounds Five and Six of the European Champions Cup

first_imgThe exact dates, kick-off times and live television coverage for the decisive Round 5 and 6 fixtures in the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been announced by EPCR today. With the five pool winners and the three best runners-up set to book their places in the quarter-finals of both tournaments, the tension-packed January matches will once again produce a dramatic conclusion to the pool stages.Click here for the Round 5 and 6 European Rugby Champions Cup fixturesClick here for the Round 5 and 6 European Rugby Challenge Cup fixturesWith the incentive of earning a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup added to the mix, the exact make-up and ranking of the qualifiers for the knockout stages won’t be decided until the final pool games on Sunday, 22 January 2017. From then on, the road to the Edinburgh finals at BT Murrayfield on 12 and 13 May will become clearer.5 things to know about the Champions Cup:Before the new tournament format was introduced in 2014/15, no pool winner had qualified for the last eight in Europe’s top flight on less than 17 points since bonus points were introduced in 2003/04, however, Exeter Chiefs booked their place in last season’s Champions Cup quarter-finals with 16 points which indicates that there is still much to play for next month.Leinster Rugby and Montpellier get Round 5 underway at the RDS Arena on Friday, 13 January live on Sky Sports. Both clubs have won one of their past three meetings with the other match drawn. Montpellier have lost on each of their two visits to Ireland in European club rugby’s elite tournament.With the fixtures in the same Champions Cup pools kicking off at the same time in Round 6, and with all games televised live by either BT Sport, Sky Sports, beIN Sports, France Televisions or Sky Italia, the final weekend of the pool stage is certain to generate the customary nerve-tingling excitement.The rescheduled Champions Cup match between Racing 92 and Munster Rugby on Saturday, 7 January will have a major bearing on the Pool 1 standings going into Rounds 5 and 6.With qualification for the knockout stage at stake in Rounds 5 and 6, there’s plenty for supporters to get excited about. This season, the tournament has attracted over half a million fans through turnstiles across Europe.5 things to know about the Challenge Cup:The Challenge Cup returns on Thursday, 12 January when Bayonne host TOP 14 rivals La Rochelle at Stade Jean Dauger live on beIN Sports. The reverse fixture in October attracted a crowd of 14,634, the third-highest for a pool match in the tournament’s history.Attendances in the Challenge Cup have increased by over 18% compared with the same period last season. There have been five five-figure crowds to date including one from the English West Country derby between Bath Rugby and Bristol Rugby. The two lock horns again at Ashton Gate Stadium on Friday, 13 January live on BT Sport.Four former tournament winners – Bath Rugby, Cardiff Blues, Gloucester Rugby and Harlequins – are all in contention to secure quarter-final places.Ospreys are the only club with a maximum 20 points after four rounds and they defend that record at home against Lyon in Round 5 on Sunday, 15 January.The pool stage ends on Sunday, 22 January with the reverse fixture of the match that kicked off the season when Stade Français Paris host the 2016 runners-up Harlequins at Stade Jean Bouin live on beIN Sports. Connacht will play Zebre in round five on Saturday the 14th of January at 1pm with their final pool game against Toulouse now confirmed for 4.15pm local time, 3.15pm Irish time on Sunday the 22nd of January.center_img print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Galway Athletics Report

first_imgGCH took double Silver medals at U15 level- in the U15 Girls 4 x 100m relay, the squad of Ava McKeon, Aishling Healy, Leana Nic Dhonncha, Roisin Dalton, Eve Ayo and Emma Moore placed second as did the GCH U15 Boys 4x100m squad of Luke Dahler, Daragh Jennings, Danny O’Toole, Conor Hoade and Mathieu Madden.GCH U17 boys 4x100m team also won silver via Richard Kamsen, Jonathan McGrath, Robert McDonnell, Eoghan Jennings, Eli Sheedy and Samuel MaddenThe talented South Galway AC U14 Boys team won Silver medals in the 4x100m relay via the squad of Andrew Horan, Ruairi Dillon, David and Stephen Mannion and Rian Dunne Leavy.South Galway AC athletes Rian Dunne Leavy, Andrew Horan, Stephen Mannion, David Mannion and Ruairí Dillon who won silver at the All Ireland Track finals on Saturday in Tullamore in the U14 4 x 100m relay.In individual action, Sarah Oifoh of Tuam AC won bronze in the U14 Girls 80m sprint. Craughwell’s Alicia Locteau won a superb U14 High Jump Silver.The Juvenile championships continue this weekend with two days of action on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, again in Tullamore Stadium. Jack Dempsey GCH who competes for Ireland in the World U20 Championship this weekendJack Dempsey of Galway City Harriers travels to Tampere in Finland this week to compete on the Irish 4x100m Relay squad at the U20 World Championships, one of the premier global athletics championships. The relay qualifying heats take place Friday next, 13th July. Headford 8k Dariusz Monkewiecz was the winner of this year’s Headford8k held Saturday evening last clocking a time of 28.10 for victory. Daire Comer of Tuam AC was second, with local man David O’Connor, running with Trim AC third.Regina Casey of GCH was first lady home in 29.43, with Emma Grimes of GCH making her debut with a fine time of 32.04 for second, just ahead of Joan Flynn from Mullingar who placed third.Close on 200 runners completed the 14th edition of the charity fundraising race, on a great evening for racing.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Top coach Matt Lockett of GCH has been appointed as team endurance coach to the Irish distance athletes competing in Finland. National League The National Track and Field League’s second and final qualifying round was held on Sunday last in Athlone. Galway City Harriers Men’s team and, Galway Ladies both qualified for the National League Premier Division final to be held August 19th next in Tullamore with Galway Men’s team performing strongly also in Division One.GCH Men’s squad had wins from Cillin Greene over 200m with a season best time of 21.60 and Brendan Staunton in the Shot Putt with a PB throw. Staunton also placed well with second in the Discus with Brendan McDonnell clocking a fast 15.01 in the 5000m for second also. GCH also scored heavily via Henrique Nkolovata, who performed well in three events over sprint hurdles and in the Long Jump and Triple Jump, Seamus Leddy in the 3k Walk, team manager Cliff Jennings in the Hammer and Weight throws, Jonah Erugo in the High Jump and 400m, Darren Costello in the 100m, Eoghan Jennings in the Pole Vault and 400 Hurdles and James Frizzell and Neil Keane in the middle-distance races.Galway Ladies placed top of their pool on the day and qualified for the final comfortably. The team secured victories via wins by Maeve Curley in the 1500m Walk, Nicole King over 400m, Emma O’Hara in the Hammer, and by the Relay sprint squad over 4x100m. There were second place scores for team captain Sarah Finnegan over 100m Hurdles, Sinead Treacy in the 200m, Sarah Gilhooley in her debut in the 3000m Steeplechase and Barbara Dunne who also debuted in the 3000m flat. The squad also saw points scores from Aisling Joyce in the 1500m, Aoife Sheehy over 400 Hurdles, Seren O’Toole in the Long Jump, Chloe Casey in the Shot, Cian Reidy in the Pole Vault, Katie O’Donoghue in High Jump, Laura Cunningham in Triple Jump, Sinead Gaffney over 800m and Lydia Doyle in sprints and relay.Galway Men’s team placed eighth with a solid overall performance, with National champion Brendan Lynch securing victory for the team over 400m Hurdles, alongside excellent second places for Tommy Farragher in the Hammer, Daniel Callanan in the Triple Jump and Ryan Gallagher in the High Jump and a strong all round team performance that cemented their second year in the Division. World U20 Championships GCH 4*400m U17 Relay gold medallists Samuel Madden, Jonathan McGrath, Robert McDonnell and Eoghan Jennings. Galway City Harriers Relay teams also struck gold, winning the National U17 4x400m Relay title with a team comprising of Samuel Madden, Jonathan McGrath, Robert McDonnell and Eoghan Jennings.GCH 4x400m U17 Relay gold medallists (L-R): Samuel Madden, Jonathan McGrath, Robert McDonnell and Eoghan Jennings. National Juvenile ChampionshipsDay two of the National Juvenile Track and Field competition was held in Tullamore Sunday last, and featured the Juvenile Relays at U12-19 and the Juvenile B Championships. The events saw great success for Galway relay squads especially.Craughwell AC U19 Girls became National 4x400m relay champions for 2018 with a squad of Shauna Tobin, Ciana Reidy, Lorraine Delaney, Laura Cunningham, Siona Lawless and Arlene Earls. The U19 team also won bronze in the 4x100m Relay event.Craughwell U19 Girls National U19 4×400 Relay winning team (L-R): Shauna Tobin, Ciana Reidy, Lorraine Delaney, Laura Cunningham and Arlene Earls.last_img read more

Maradona backs safe World Cup

first_imgArgentinian coach Diego Maradona recently visited the 97 400-seater Soccer City stadium, which will host the opening and closing 2010 Fifa World Cup matches. (Image: Nicky Rehbock)Argentinian national coach Diego Maradona sent a powerful message to the global football community during a recent visit to South Africa: “This will be a great World Cup, with no doubts of security.”It came as a welcome remark in the aftermath of the fatal attack on Togo’s football squad in Angola on 8 January, which cast widespread uncertainty over the safety of the June-July tournament.The Togolese team was in Angola to participate in the African Nations Cup, a 2010 Fifa World Cup forerunner, but they withdrew shortly after the incident.“They can say what they want but we know we are coming to play the World Cup in a safe country,” Maradona said during an inspection tour of the Argentinian base camp in Pretoria.“I have seen that with my own eyes. Anything can happen in the world, but I have spent a week in South Africa and everything is very good and the people very friendly.”The star also visited schools in Soweto, South Africa’s largest township, in the south of Johannesburg, and other 2010 venues during his week-long trip.“I will tell my players that they only have to think of playing football when they come here and worry about nothing else – this is the impression that I will take back to my country.”On 21 January Maradona visited the almost-complete Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, which will host the opening and closing World Cup matches. The former Footballer of the Year was visibly impressed by the flawless pitch and striking orange seating, which will be able to accommodate 97 400 fans.“They really did a great job on this stadium. I have been to many stadiums before, but this is very big and so great. To be able to enter this stadium is so beautiful. I feel inspired to play here, but unfortunately my time has passed,” he said.Construction workers, who had filled the venue’s upper rows to catch a glimpse of the football great, cheered and chanted: “Maradona! Maradona!” as he demonstrated his effortless ball skills.Later the coach swapped signed national jerseys with Danny Jordaan, head of the 2010 Fifa World Cup local organising committee, and then broke away from the crowd to congratulate the workers on stadium.“I think this visit by Maradona gives South Africans an insight into the excitement that will be generated by the World Cup,” Jordaan said.“He didn’t go to any black tie events, he went into the townships where he said he felt safe, not threatened … he embraced people. Maradona’s contribution off the pitch has been very significant.”After the coach left the stadium, Jordaan spoke to journalists about World Cup safety fears: “We ended with the final draw on 4 December, and the international visitors left. Now it’s the 21st January – and absolutely nothing has happened. The English cricket team was here, and they were very happy; and now Maradona’s come, and he’s also happy – that should speak for itself.”last_img read more

Wont Allow PM Modi To Use Our Airspace Says Pakistan Foreign Minister

first_imgNEW DELHI: Pakistan will not allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to use its airspace while travelling to the United States, the country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Wednesday.(Inputs from NDTV.com)last_img

Wont bow down before Delhi throne Pawar on ED action

first_imgMumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said he would visit the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office on September 27 in connection with a money laundering case filed against him by the agency.Addressing media here, Pawar also questioned the timing of the ED move, which comes days before the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections. Pawar said he would visit the ED office at 2 pm on September 27 to submit “whatever information” sought in connection with the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam. “I will be mostly out of Mumbai for Assembly poll campaigning. The agency officials shouldn’t misunderstand that I am unavailable. I will go to them and give them whatever information they want,” Pawar said. Pawar said he believes in the Constitution of India. “Maharashtra follows the ideology of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. We don’t know to bow down before the Delhi takht (throne),” he said.last_img read more