Vermont lawmakers are taking testimony on a bill that would elevate the office of the state’s chief education official from a commissioner to a cabinet-level secretary.
Supporters say the move would strengthen the state’s education policy, but critics fear it will mean a loss of local control over education decisions.
Currently the education commissioner answers to the state board of education. The bill would make that position a secretary and member of the governor’s cabinet, appointed by the governor.
It also would change the membership and purpose of the state board of education.
The House Education Committee says the change from commissioner to secretary would help the state articulate its education policy and create goals that districts can strive for.