Jay Eshelman | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Jay Eshelman 
Member since Apr 19, 2017



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Re: “Vermont Senate Sends Marijuana Legalization Bill to Governor


OK. The genie is out of the bottle (or bong, as the case may be). At least there are no provisions for the State to regulate dispensaries and tax MJ in order to increase government revenues. On the other hand, I would like to propose that all financial penalties be doubled with the additional fines going directly to Vermont's Education Fund for the exclusive purpose of funding School Choice Tuition vouchers.

After all, it's all about enlightenment and liberty...right.

12 likes, 59 dislikes
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 01/10/2018 at 2:50 PM

Re: “The Cannabis Catch-Up: Despite Legalization, Colorado Teen Pot Use Declines

Haven't we learned not to believe the polls?

"State and federal surveys have declared that Colorado youths are not using marijuana more than before the drug became legal for adult recreational use in 2014, and that use among juveniles is actually dropping."

"Yet law-enforcement officers who interact with students each school day, and whose job it is to intervene and report on drug use by teens, offer a starkly different perspective."


I know many parents in Colorado. Word has it that Colorado drug profits are so enormous and the marijuana lobby so powerful, that surveys (i.e. polls) like these are biased and being used to convince the public that pot legalization isn't having a deleterious effect on Colorado youth. Law enforcement, however, and the parents I know, think otherwise.

Caveat emptor.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 12/24/2017 at 4:49 PM

Re: “Burlington Teachers and School Board Still Finalizing Contract

Ahh..as expected, the devil created this pre-adolescent playground behavior exhibited by the 'adults'.

'He started it'.... No he didn't - she did it first!'

The only folks 'forced' into anything in the current public school governance arena are parents and their children, who have enough to do working through their own behavioral issues. Wouldn't it be nice if they could simply choose the school that best meets their needs instead of being held hostage to mandated, dysfunctional, bureaucratic finger pointing, ...not to mention the cost of the inconvenience.

Posted by Jay Eshelman on 12/14/2017 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Burlington Teachers and School Board Still Finalizing Contract

Quid pro quo: Pay the teachers for the four days they were on strike and have the union reimburse any costs submitted by parents, subcontractors and other related parties incurred because of the strike.

The school board will have the final decision as to what costs qualify for reimbursement, including the costs incurred by the board for the administration of those reimbursements.

Of course, it's possible, the costs of such an unanticipated circumstance might well be in excess of the teacher's salaries for those four days. But hey, what's good for goose......

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 12/13/2017 at 9:21 AM

Re: “How a Vermont High School Ended Up With Only Two Students

RE: "Maybe having school choice for middle and high school will actually bring families back," Schenkman said.

You think....

Westminster's 7th & 8th grades enjoy School Choice. They typically choose from a half dozen or so local independent and public schools. Interestingly, 7th & 8th grade enrollments in Westminster are consistently 10%+ higher than its K-6 public elementary and BFUHS 9-12 enrollments. Local real estate ads laud School Choice as a selling 'feature'.

A recent article about Burr & Burton Academy, an independent School Choice institution in Manchester, "...found that homebuyers are willing to pay an increase of up to 5.9 percent for a home in a school choice town like Manchester, and 83 percent of parents whose children attend BBA said that school choice was a major factor in deciding where to settle down and raise their kids."

BBA enrollments are holding steady while local districts across the State see a 20%+ decline, student test scores at BBA are 15% higher than the State average, twice as many BBA graduates go on to college as the State public school average, and while the VT AOE contemplates an 8% increase in Vermont's education property tax, BBA's tuition is increasing 2.2%.

School Choice has been a successful education governance model in 90+ Vermont school districts for decades. Apparently, the more State education administrators resist School Choice, the fewer students attend the public school monopoly programs. Isn't it time to read the writing on these quiet school hallway walls?

4 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 11/24/2017 at 8:16 AM

Re: “Walters: Keith Ellison Energizes Democrats

This is news???

21 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 11/10/2017 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Just Saying No: Vermont Education Secretary Defies Lawmakers

An incredibly easy find? That's it?

A 3 1/2 hour you-tube video of a 2015 SBOE meeting discussing everything from welcoming new staff to testing to independent school governance to tuition to Act 46 mergers, and on and on. I listened as long as could and still didn't hear any indication that the AOE was going to be in 'noncompliance'.

And then there's the 2016 AOE letter to the State Auditor presented as an 'incredibly easy find'. How in the world would anyone know to look there? Was it published as a press release or on Seven Days, VT DIgger or True North?

At the bottom of page 5 of the letter is a sentence suggesting that the drop from 211 to 170 full time employees ".... somewhat limits our capacity to extend technical assistance to school districts on issues related to state funding." But that's it. Not another word.

And this is presented as equivalency to Ms. Holcombe announcing 'noncompliance' publically in the Seven Days article with the headline "Just Saying No"?

So 'facts matter'...really? These obscure citations justify the claim that criticism of the AOE "... is at best horribly mistaken, and at worst a deliberate lie"??

Who lied? This response is even beyond the pale of the State's public school monopoly. But make no mistake. We're being held hostage to this 'tar baby' logic. Hire more AOE staff (and pay for them) or risk the threat of 'noncompliance'.

What's next? Will the AOE go on strike?

6 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Jay Eshelman on 11/02/2017 at 5:41 PM

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