Effort begins to re-evaluate education financing in Vermont

first_imgby Hilary Niles vtdigger.org It’s time to re-evaluate Vermont’s education financing system and test its fairness to both students and taxpayers. That was the consensus at an education symposium convened Tuesday by Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Legislature.The event kicked off what’s intended to be a session-long discussion of the state’s school funding formula, with the aim of understanding how it’s working in the current economic and educational environment ‘ and whether it could be improved.The current funding formula was created in 1997 with the passage of Act 60, and amended in 2003 with Act 68. Now all of the laws’ complex parts and funding mechanisms, everything from per-pupil costs and outcomes to property tax structures and income sensitivity, are on the table.Held at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, the symposium included a six-member panel discussion and three breakout sessions for wide-ranging conversations. It was organized as a response to growing complaints about high property tax rates and persistent concerns about educational outcomes ‘ particularly for schoolchildren from the state’s poorest districts.Lawrence Picus. Hilary Niles/VTDPanel moderator Lawrence Picus, author of a 2012 report on the state’s education finance system,’ will prepare a briefing paper for the administration and Legislature by the end of January. The follow-up will summarize and expand upon Tuesday’s discussion.The six-member panel of experts from Vermont and around the country weighed in against a backdrop of divergent assumptions: that rising property taxes are unpopular compared to an income-based system, for example, or that the housing market collapse and lowered property valuations that resulted from the recession spurred only a temporary spike in property tax rates that could very well come back down.Along with those issues, panelists looked at a separate issue at play in Vermont: ever-rising rates of growth in school budgets.Vermont’s per-pupil cost of education alternately takes first or second place as highest in the nation, according to Daphne Kenyon, public policy consultant and a visiting fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, MA.The state’s achievement scores don’t illustrate a return on that investment, Kenyon said, when compared to neighboring states like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, which spend less on average per student.If one takeaway could be gleaned from the discussion, it came from those outside Vermont: The system here works well, they said. Yes, it’s 17 years old and likely needs to be updated. But it’s got ‘good bones,’ as Picus put it. Adjustments may be called for, but not an outright replacement.’ Patrick Walsh, an economics professor at St. Michael’s College, also challenged the conventional wisdom that more spending results in better outcomes ‘ though he acknowledged that correlation can vary depending on which population of students is studied. Extra money directed to disadvantaged kids tends to make a bigger difference than a boost for better-off schools, for example.Economist Richard Heaps suggested at the annual Vermont Economic Outlook Conference (see www.vteconomy.com(link is external)) held January 10 that Act60/68 (which created the statewide property tax to fund public education) might have to be altered or over-turned because of the gap between increasing spending and declining tax base.But the impact of school spending is just one assumption that should be tested, according to both Shumlin and several panelists.‘Do we have a challenge with income sensitivity driving school spending beyond sustainable rates?’ Shumlin asked in his opening remarks. (Under Vermont’s education finance formula, the state uses income sensitivity to reduce property tax burdens for households that earn below a certain threshold.) Shumlin said some people believe passionately that tax reductions from income sensitivity shield too many people from the true cost of their votes on school budgets. But he wonders if that theory is just a myth.About two-thirds of Vermont households qualify for income sensitivity reductions that apply to their property tax bills. Several panelists suggested that school budgets likely would be lower if more taxpayers had more ‘skin in the game.’The need for more and better data to answer such questions was a running theme in the breakout sessions. A desire for ‘data-driven decisions’ was a mantra that applied to both the base education cost per pupil ‘ is it set correctly? ‘ as well as the quest for what the ideal class size and school district size is. That has long been a key issue in this small rural state with small schools.If one takeaway could be gleaned from the discussion, it came from those outside Vermont: The system here works well, they said. Yes, it’s 17 years old and likely needs to be updated. But it’s got ‘good bones,’ as Picus put it. Adjustments may be called for, but not an outright replacement.Aside from adjusting income sensitivity, one component of the formula that may be tweaked is the ‘high-spending threshold’ that kicks in as a method of moderating school budget increases. Designed to curb school spending, the function spikes tax rates if a school budget exceeds a certain level of annual increase.‘It seems like that threshold is not really doing its job (of preventing) runaway spending,’ Walsh said.Tom Downes, associate professor of economics at Tufts University, suggested reclassifying taxpayers beyond just residential and non-residential groups as is done under current law. Vermont could consider different tax rates for residential, commercial, industrial and ‘everybody else,’ he said, the latter category being a potentially profitable way of raising taxes on out-of-state homeowners.Introducing multiple thresholds for income sensitivity, which would taper tax implications could also help, several panelists said. Stepping up the tax burden more gradually may dissuade people from manipulating their household income from year to year to avoid a big bump in their tax bills.Assessing a property owner’s ability to pay taxes by a more accurate measure of income may also be a good strategy, suggested Michael Wolkoff, deputy chair of the economics department at the University of Rochester.Shumlin, Picus and several panelists cautioned that, whatever aspect of the school financing system may be altered, some people will be unhappy.But the fundamental goal, House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morrisville, underscored, is to achieve both equity in financial obligations and equal access to education for all schoolchildren in the state. Those two principles cannot be separated, he said.last_img read more

Longhouse Landscape Awards

first_imgOn Saturday, September 21, LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton hosted a luncheon to celebrate its Landscape Awards. This year’s honorees were Kathleen and Charlie Marder of Marders Nursery in Bridgehampton, who were presented by Martha Stewart; Thomas Woltz, a landscape architect who implements biological systems and restoration ecology; Lynden Miller, a public garden designer who rescued and restored The Conservatory Garden in Central Park alongside projects in Bryant Park and the New York Botanical Garden; and Amy Goldman Fowler, an author, gardener, and artist who advocates for seed saving. Sharelast_img read more

Mohamed Sanu Trade: Move to Patriots affects fantasy value of Calvin Ridley, Phillip Dorsett, Justin Hardy

first_imgMORE WEEK 8 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup BuilderHardy caught two passes on Atlanta’s final garbage-time drive on Sunday, but the rest of the starters were on the field, so maybe something was already in the works then. Hardy isn’t an exciting receiver — his 9.8 yards per reception definitely speaks to a guy running short routes near the sticks. But to some extent, that was working for Sanu this year. With this trade happening before waivers run in most leagues, Hardy is the most obvious possible acquisition – outside of taking a flier on Sanu if he’s available, which we’d prefer to Hardy. The potential for Matt Schaub instead of Matt Ryan as a Week 8 QB hurts Hardy, although those two late catches Sunday did come from Schaub. Unless you’re in a deep league, you can take a wait-and-see approach here, but at this point, Hardy is at most an injury away from being a possible fantasy FLEX play. Mohamed Sanu is heading to the Patriots in a trade for a second-round pick, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning. New England will be Sanu’s third NFL team after he spent multiple years in both Cincinnati and Atlanta. The Pats’ WR corps becomes more crowded with the acquisition of Sanu, as he joins Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, and Jakobi Meyers. Atlanta had been using Sanu in a heavy role so far in 2019, and fantasy owners of Calvin Ridley will rejoice that he’s gone. Justin Hardy the most likely candidate to step into Sanu’s role as a possible sleeper.Sanu isn’t super exciting, and it’s hard to know what his role will be with the Patriots, but there are a lot of borderline fantasy starting WRs that are affected by this Tuesday morning deal. We’ll take a look at some of them here. 👀 LFG!!!!— Mohamed Sanu Sr. (@Mo_12_Sanu) October 22, 2019WEEK 8 NON-PPR RANKINGSQuarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerMohamed Sanu fantasy outlookIt seems almost certain that Sanu’s fantasy value will decline upon the move to New England. While his targets had declined since an early-season barrage, he still was averaging 4.7 receptions per game for the Falcons. Gordon has been out because of a knee injury, while Edelman (chest) and Dorsett (hamstring) have battled their own ailments, so this is probably a depth play for the Patriots. If all three of those are healthy, it’s hard to imagine Sanu catching four passes in many games going forward.Because it’s New England, though, and everything has meaning. If you already owned Sanu in your fantasy league, don’t drop him yet. There’s a chance the Patriots view him as better than we think they do — it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Sanu becomes their No. 2 receiver. If that happened, he’d be a fantasy WR3 most weeks, so you can’t bail on that without seeing a game or two of action. It seems like there’ll be a week or two the rest of the way where Sanu catches eight passes. It just might be hard to predict.There’s one other possibility to be considered: Sanu could be the passing game replacement to Rob Gronkowski. Sanu won’t line up on the end of the line like a tight end, but he fits enough of the big-bodied mold to potentially solve New England’s 2019 tight end woes. That’s another reason to keep Sanu around. If nothing else, he could become a red-zone favorite of Tom Brady.WEEK 8 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWill Calvin Ridley be helped by Mohamed Sanu trade?Every week this season, Sanu played more snaps than Ridley. There are reasons for that, like blocking, that don’t necessarily stop Ridley from being a good fantasy wide receiver. But you never like to have your player standing on the sideline. He can’t accumulate points over there, no matter how hard he tries.For reference, Sanu was actually the most-snapped Falcons’ WR, ahead of Julio Jones, too. Jones probably steps into the near every-play spot that Sanu was holding while Ridley should play more snaps every week, too. Ultimately, this doesn’t change Ridley’s fantasy value as much as we’d like it to. He was one of our most-hyped players in the preseason, as we figured he’d follow up his rookie season with a monster sophomore year. But he’s been inconsistent, just like a year ago, and Sanu’s absence won’t be the thing that solves that.Maybe Ridley gets a target more a game. He’s received six targets in all but one game this year, so maybe that number rises to seven targets in basically every game going forward. He’ll have good games, and most weeks we’ll still rank him as a WR3. But since he doesn’t play Sanu’s position, Ridley’s role in the offense will remain pretty constant. He’ll still get his six-plus targets with a deep ball look here and there. Just don’t get overly excited that Sanu’s trade means Ridley is free or something. He’ll still be boom-or-bust Calvin Ridley.Week 8 DFS Lineups: Y! Cash | Y! GPP | FD Cash | FD GPP | DK Cash | DK GPPPhillip Dorsett fantasy outlookSomething’s gotta give in New England, and Dorsett is the most likely candidate to step out of the way. It’s not a perfect swap in and swap out for Sanu, though. Dorsett is mostly an outside guy, while Sanu spent 90 percent of his time in Atlanta this season playing the slot. We’re not even going to consider that Julian Edelman gets pushed out of the way, though, so Dorsett’s time on the field could be affected the most.Dorsett already was a borderline fantasy option, almost a poor man’s Ridley. His snaps have fluctuated more than Edelman’s or Gordon’s, suggesting he’s more expendable. Like we said with Sanu, you can’t really drop Dorsett if you have him right now because you have to see how this plays out. And technically, Dorsett has lined up more in the slot this season than he has outside because of how many of the Patriots’ formations are set up.Sanu’s acquisition also puts a damper on any hope for Jakobi Meyers having a few big weeks going forward in his rookie season. He’s seen even more slot usage than Dorsett, but Sanu is simply a more developed version of Meyers, who will now have to sit and learn from another veteran.WEEK 8: Waiver wire | FAAB planner | Trade values | Snap countsIs Justin Hardy a waiver wire pickup?Where do Sanu’s 4.7 receptions per game go in Atlanta? While they probably won’t all go to Hardy, the 27-year-old receiver appears to fit the Sanu slot role most readily. Outside of Ridley, Jones and Austin Hooper, Hardy has played the most snaps in the slot for the Falcons this season.last_img read more

A Zealley hat-trick

first_imgBy Hayley Wildes WGCA LOWER GRADES REVIEW – ROUND 6 (DAY TWO) There are rare feats in local cricket such as a double…[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

School boss steps down

first_imgBEACONHILL’S Village Campus Head of Junior School Judy Barton will step down from her leadership role at the end of…[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

Work skill support set to continue

first_imgBY JARROD McALEESE A FOUR-YEAR contract has been awarded to SkillsPlus to operate the incoming Federally-funded Transition to Work program….[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

74 Remain in BoyleSports Irish Grand National

first_imgJessica Harrington is another chasing her first BoyleSports Irish Grand National success and the Timico Gold Cup winning trainer has left her smart novice Our Duke, the clear ante-post favourite, in next Monday’s race. Ted Walsh could yet be represented by Foxrock while the 2016 winning trainer Mouse Morris has left five horses in the race with Alpha Des Obeaux, his Grade 1 RSA Novices´ Chase fourth, and last year’s winner Rogue Angel both certain of a run. Noel Meade has left six horses in the race with his Cheltenham Festival winner Road To Respect featuring among the sextet.Of the remaining cross-channel challenger, Jonjo O’Neill could run his 2014 winner Shutthefrontdoor while Harry Fry’s Fletchers Flyer is another that has done enough to secure a spot in the final line-up.Peter Roe, General Manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, said: “We are delighted with the strength in depth of the horses remaining in the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National. It is great to have previous winners Shutthefrontdoor, Rogue Angel and Thunder And Roses along with the exciting Grade 1 winning novice chaser Our Duke. The excitement in the locality is steadily building as we build up to Ireland’s richest ever jumps race.  The ground is currently good to yielding and the forecast is for some rain towards the end of the week but we will commence selective watering today in order to produce safe jumping ground.”Liam Glynn, BoyleSports spokesperson, said: “We are looking forward to an intriguing renewal of the BoyleSports Irish Grand National on Easter Monday at Fairyhouse in what is set to be probably the most competitive handicap that we will have seen in a long time. With the prize-money now boosted to a record €500,000, it could also well decide whether Gordon Elliott can dethrone Willie Mullins in the Irish National Hunt Trainers’ Championship. Our Duke, our current 11/2 favourite, is by far the worst result in the ante-post book at present and with the form that novices have in the race and the winning streak that trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Robbie Power are on at present, we are very keen to keep him on side.”BoyleSports betting for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, Easter Monday, April 17th, 2017 is as follows:11-2       Our Duke10           Mall Dini10           Noble Endeavor12           Fletchers Flyer14           Abolitionist14           Minella Foru14           The Crafty Butcher14           Haymount16           Shutthefrontdoor16           Foxrock16           Tiger Roll16           Arbre De Vie20           Bar CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF ENTRIES Tiger Roll gives Lisa O’Neill her first Cheltenham Festival winner in the 4 miler.Cheltenham Festival.Photo:Patrick McCann 14.03.2017 print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emailcenter_img The €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National could well be the race that decides the winner of this season’s National Hunt trainers’ championship and both Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott will be hoping to feature strongly in the annual spectacular at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, April 17th. Both men are seeking their first win in what is now the most valuable National Hunt race in Ireland, and Elliott, the season’s leading trainer, has left 21 horses in the race, headed by Lord Scoundrel and Noble Endeavor, Roi Des Francs, his Cheltenham Festival winner Tiger Roll, Ball D’Arc and last year’s runner-up, Bless The Wings. As it stands, with the safety limit set at 30 runners, the majority of Elliott’s remaining entries are unlikely to get a run.Willie Mullins, the current champion trainer, is responsible for nine of the remaining 74 entries. However, it would appear that only Haymount, third to Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll in the Grade 2 JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders´ Novices´ Chase at Cheltenham is guaranteed a run and that the likes of Blazer, Arbre De Vie and Sambremont will struggle to make the final cut at declaration time at 10am on Good Friday.last_img read more

Universal Orlando Preview — Week of February 17, 2018

first_imgUpcoming Events & HighlightsLoews Sapphire Falls is offering a new Despicable Me character breakfast every Saturday at the outdoor Cayman Court. Guests mingle with characters as guests partake in an American-style breakfast buffet. Cost is $34.99 per adult plus tax and $20.99 per child plus tax with seating times at 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. Tickets are required from the Loews ticketing site. A free digital download photo is offered per group.Universal’s Mardi Gras returns nightly February 3 through April 7. Catch a nightly Mardi Gras parade with Greek mythology-themed floats and a New Orleans carnival with food carts and a brass band. On select weekend nights the Music Plaza Stage will be host to major musical acts like The Beach Boys, Sean Paul, Macklemore, Fitz and the Tantrums, 311, Fifth Harmony, and more. Admission to Mardi Gras is included with standard admission to the parks.That is all for this week. See you next week and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag! Winter weather around the United States will affect travel plans. Keep an eye out for delayed and canceled flights. Park Hours and AdmissionCityWalk is open until 2:00 a.m. with free self parking starting after 6:00 p.m.Single-day park tickets are at Anytime pricing on Friday, February 16 through Monday, February 19. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure will run you $124 per adult and $119 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $179 per adult and $174 per child (plus tax).Single-day park tickets are at Value pricing Tuesday, February 20 through Friday, February 23. One-day base tickets to Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure will run you $115 per adult and $110 per child (plus tax). 2-Park 1-Day tickets are $170 per adult and $165 per child (plus tax).Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing  at $67 per adult and $62 per child (plus tax). Mail BagMail bag returns next week after a small hiatus. Leave a question in the comments or on the Touring Plans Forum. Share This!Toss the paczki but keep the beads out as Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration continues with a Kelsea Ballerini performing Saturday. Finish your po’ boy and lets get to the parks!Weekly Crowd LevelsSchool holidays and a long weekend leads to a massive spike in crowds as guests take their first post 2017 holiday trip. As a reminder arrive early at park opening and use customized touring plans to avoid waits.Detailed crowd level information can be found here.Weather Reportlast_img read more

Theia Technologies Honored by Vision Systems Design 2016 Innovators Awards Program

first_imgThe 4K 1/1.8″ Compact Lens family created by Theia Technologies, a high-resolution imaging technology specialist, was recognized by the judges of the annual Vision Systems Design Innovators Awards program. The judging panel consisted of experts from system integrator and end-user companies.Theia was honored with a bronze-level award. Theia’s family of 4K 12 megapixel resolution lenses provide 112 to 7 degrees HFOV offering 4-10 mm and 12-50 mm focal ranges. Covering 1/1.7″ 4K imagers, while resolving the smaller 1/2.3” sensor pixels, both offer IR correction for day/night cameras. At 64.5 mm long by 59 mm diameter, they’re the most compact for comparable 4k lenses to facilitate use in domes, bullets and small enclosures. They are offered in fully motorized, manual, DC auto-iris, P-iris, CS/C and board mount combinations.“Theia is honored to once again be recognized for innovation in imaging technology,” said Mark Peterson, vice president of advanced technology for Theia Technologies. “We strive to design and develop unique and innovative lens technology and related products which provide excellent value to the markets we serve. We are delighted that industry continues to recognize our contributions.”- Sponsor – “This prestigious program allows Vision Systems Design to celebrate and recognize the most innovative products and services in the vision and image processing industry,” said Alan Bergstein, publisher of Vision Systems Design. “Our 2016 Honorees are an outstanding example of companies who are making an impact in the industry.”The Innovators Awards are judged based on the following criteria: • Originality • Innovation • Impact on Designers, Systems Integrators, End Users • Fulfilling a need in the market that hasn’t been addressed • Leveraging a novel technologyThe 2016 Visions Systems Design Innovators Awards Honorees are featured on the June issue of Vision Systems Design magazine. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

MySpace Relaunch Will Put its Focus Back on Music

first_imgTags:#MySpace#news#NYT#web Related Posts john paul titlow When the site relaunches later this year, former social networking heavyweight MySpace will aim to reclaim the position it once held as a preeminent hub for music. MySpace went through several attempts to reinvent itself before being sold by News Corp in June. Its new marketing head Al Dejewski told Ad Age the company will shift its focus more intently on music and try to compete against the likes of Spotify and iTunes, .Even as the site has shed users, revenue and credibility in the social networking space over the last few years, MySpace never really stopped being a legitimate place for musicians to share their music and for fans to hear it, even in the face of upstarts like BandCamp and SoundCloud. Indeed, sharing music was a central factor in the site’s early growth before it was first eclipsed by Facebook in 2008. Its new owners want to capitalize on the fact that even as regular users flee, bands and music fans still turn to MySpace. A launch campaign planned for later this year will feature an array of celebrities and major brands acting as promotional partners. Pop star and actor Justin Timberlake, who now owns a stake in the company, is acting as the site’s creative director. Can this next rebranding campaign save the fallen social giant? Having lost the consumer social networking game to Facebook, its renewed focus on music will put it up against a growing array of hot new players, from on-demand music services like Spotify and Rdio to group listening apps like Turntable.fm. MySpace was sold to Specific Media in June for $35 million, six years after News Corp bought it for $580 million. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more