Vermont Education Board supports spending freeze

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The state Board of Education is backing Gov. Jim Douglas’ proposal to have schools freeze per-pupil spending for fiscal year 2010.

In a 6-1 vote Friday, the board – whose members are appointed by the governor – said it wanted to send a message to the education community that everyone must share in cost-cutting during the nation’s economic downturn.

Douglas has said Vermont can’t sustain rising school costs, given declining enrollments.

To prevent larger cuts in human services, his proposal would move $40 million in annual costs for the teachers’ retirement fund from the general fund – which pays for a broad range of state services – to the education fund.

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