Report Authors: Rebecca Kolins Givan and Pamela Whitefield
In the past few years, public schools in Vermont have been at the center of far-reaching policy debates and numerous administrative changes. Key initiatives have included a massive reorganization of schools and school districts, the restructuring of employees’ benefits, and proposals to reduce educators’ rights on the job. All of this upheaval is taking place in the context of a growing statewide opioid epidemic, rising student loan debt and increasing economic insecurity and child poverty.
Often absent from these policy debates are the voices of educators themselves, the majority of whom are professional women. These educators have firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing Vermont schools. They experience the impact of these policy initiatives daily, both in the classroom and in their lives. To that end, it is imperative to hear their voices. As one teacher put it, “there are more men in the political sphere. Our profession is mostly made up of women, but all of these men are making decisions about our lives, and they really do not understand our reality.” This report details the reality.