School choice bill stays in Committee

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(Host) The Vermont House has voted two to one not to pull a school choice bill out of the House Education Committee so it could go directly to the floor for a vote. Some proponents of public school choice are frustrated that the Education Committee has refused to vote the bill out. They decided to employ a seldom used parliamentary tool to override the committee.

A majority of members of the Education Committee have argued that it’s inappropriate to consider a new public school choice bill when a pilot program is currently in place. A number of supporters of school choice, including Barre Town Representative Tom Koch, said they couldn’t support the plan to relieve the committee of the bill because it could lead to legislative chaos:

(Koch) “I support school choice and would have liked the Education Committee to report this bill to the floor. But I also believe in the committee process and I need to support that process even when it produces results I do not like.”

(Host) The current school choice pilot program calls on schools within a small geographic region to collaborate on a choice initiative. An assessment report of the program will be delivered to lawmakers next January.

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