Consultant: No way to gauge impact of school spending

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Two economists hired by the state to compare how Vermont schools use education funds _ in hopes of figuring out whether high spending equals academic achievement _ say doing so will take more study.

Lawmakers asked the economists _ Thomas Kavet and Nicholas Rockler _ to look into Vermont’s one billion dollar education spending program to see why some schools are more expensive than others.

But Kavet told lawmakers last week in Montpelier that the study can’t be done without a large-scale effort to dig into the finances of individual schools and supervisory unions.

The two say that although there is statewide collection of property taxes for schools, there is no statewide authority that keeps tabs on school districts’ spending.

Their report to a joint meeting of the Senate and House education committees is expected to help lawmakers attack the problem of school spending and rising property taxes.

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