Archive for January, 2014

Gov. Peter Shumlin- “It’s time to re-evaluate Vermont’s education financing system.”

       Governor Peter Shumlin announced that it is time re-evaluate the education financing system of Vermont, together with the Legislature, to observe equality between students and taxpayers in an education symposium held last Tuesday.

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       The said event started something that is meant to be a long debate for the school funding formula in Vermont’s schools. The aim is to understand how it is working in the middle of the current economic and educational situation and if there is a chance that it can better out.
       Vermont’s current funding formula which was created in 1997 with the passing of Act 60 and amended in the year 2003 with Act 68 has been long evaluated and now all of the funding system law’s parts and mechanisms will be reviewed. This includes areas from per-pupil costs to property tax framework and income sensitivity.
       The symposium took a six-member panel discussion with a three breakout sessions to give way to the broad line of conversations. It was held at St. Michael’s College in Colchester and was organized as a reply to the rising number of criticisms about high poverty tax rates and grievances about educational outcomes especially concerning schoolchildren from Vermont’s poorest districts.
       By the end of January, Lawrence Picus, author of a 2012 document on the state’s financial system for education, will prepare a conference paper for the management and Legislature. The record will generalize and enlarge the discussion from the Tuesday’s symposium.
       Vermont’s expert six-member panel with others from around the country measured alongside the background with various statements: that rising property taxes are disliked more compared to an income-based scheme, for instance, or that the fall down of the housing market as well as the decreased property assessment led the temporary point in property tax but will eventually come back.
       Another issue that was brought up by the panelists is the continuously rising rates in school budgets.
       According to Daphne Kenyon, public policy consultant at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in New Hampshire, the per-pupil cost of education in Vermont lands to either first or second place as highest in the state.
       Kenyon said that Vermont’s achievement scores don’t demonstrate a return on the high per-pupil cost in contrast to New Hampshire and Massachusetts, neighboring states of Vermont, which spend fewer than the standard per student.
       Picus on the other hand quoted that Vermont’s financial system got “good bones.” It can be concluded that it is now in its 17th year and updates are to be made but not a complete replacement.
       An economics professor at St. Michael’s College, Patrick Walsh, confronted the convention that more spending will result to better outcomes— though he clarified that the relationship can vary depending on which student population is studied. For example, extra amount bound for disadvantaged students likely makes a bigger difference than an improvement for richer schools.
       Shumlin and a number of panelists agree that the impact of how a school spends is just one assumption that should be studied.
       In his opening remarks, Shumlin asks, “Do we have a challenge with income sensitivity driving school spending beyond sustainable rates?” This line is in retrospect with Vermont’s current education finance formula that uses income sensitivity so the property tax worries will be reduced for households that earns fewer than the defined threshold. Shumlin wondered too why some people believed that reducing taxes from income sensitivity will help with the true cost of their votes in the school budget.
       On their property tax bills, about two-thirds of Vermont’s family qualifies for income sensitivity. Several panelists recommended that school budgets would be lower if more taxpayer citizens had more of their own “skin in the game.”
       During the breakout sessions, issues like the need for better data to answer the queries about financial education system as well as the mission of finding what the ideal class size should be and what school district size in enough were discussed. This has long been a major issue in Vermont together with its small schools.
financial system
       Another component in the formula that may be squeezed out is the “high-spending threshold” that serves as a way of moderating increases in the school budget. Once a school budget exceeds a firm level of annual increase, high-spending threshold, will point out the tax rates and control the school spending.
       Walsh reacted, “It seems like that threshold is not really doing its job (of preventing) runaway spending.”
       Tufts University’s associate professor of economics, Tom Downes suggested that taxpayers should be reclassified more than just residential and non-residential types. Vermont’s current law should consider different categories such as residential, commercial, industrial and general.
       Downes also explained that having multiple thresholds for income sensitivity could also help as it narrows the implications of tax. Giving a higher tax burden slowly may discourage people from directing their household income yearly to avoid errors in their tax bills.
       Michael Wolkoffs who is a University of Rochester’s deputy chair of economics department added that the assessment of property owner’s capability to pay taxes using an accurate income determinant may also help.
       Shumlin, Picus and other panelists warned that whatever feature of the school financing system may be revised, there will always be someone left unhappy.
       Though House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morrisville emphasizes that the fundamental goal of the state is to achieve both fairness in financial obligations and fairness in educational access for all schoolchildren in Vermont.

10 Easy Sequential Steps to Write an Essay

      Learning how to write an essay can be an intense and intimidating process, but it should not be. Essay writing doesn’t have to involve too much trial and error. Writing an essay be fun and should promote an exciting experience to a writer.


essay writing 101

      To be able to fully understand what essay writing is all about and how it is successfully done, one should go through 10 easy sequential steps that guarantee a well-written essay paper.

  1. Research the topic- Once the essay topic has been given; begin the essay writing by researching a lot of information about the subject matter. Make yourself an expert by relying in different sources such as books, academic journals, online and interviews. The library will be your best friend if you want to have as much information as you needed to for the essay you are writing.
  2. Analyze the given data- With the gathered data, the next step will be analyzing what should be included and what should be excluded in the content of the paper. Analyze what your claims will be, your reasons as well as your evidences. It will also be helpful that on this writing stage, one will be able to examine how others are writing their essay. Read a lot of essay samples that is in accordance with what you are aiming for as a writer.
  3. Brainstorm the set of information- Brainstorming is a problem-solving technique that involves a free flow of ideas. As the writer, there will be a need for a lot of insight from your side as well as a lot of influences from other authors. Brainstorm all the ideas in your mind and come up with your original content.
  4. Formulate the Thesis Statement- Behind every good essay is a good thesis statement. The thesis statement is the best one-liner that describes what the essay is all about. It is the main point of the study and lets the reader know where the essay will be going. Formulate a thesis statement that best describes your essay.
  5. Create an outline- Outlining should be made halfway of the writing process. This is the process of mapping-out the whole manuscript. Select the main categories and briefly state in one-liners. Place in bullets the sub-categories for proper organization. Make sure to follow the outline you created to seal a good flow of content in the essay.
  6. Give a good Introduction- This is where the writing process officially begins. The introduction or the first paragraph of the essay should serve as a hook to catch the reader’s attention. Stage-up the sentence construction and give way to the thesis statement. The most common writing style found in introducing the thesis are beginning with a quotation, a question, a statistical data or an anecdote.
  7. Write the Body of the essay- The body of the essay is composed of different paragraphs. Each paragraph should highlight the main topic of the paper and support the thesis statement. All evidences and proofs should be transitioned and organized carefully in the clearest and understandable manner. Also keep in mind that a lot of in-text citations will appear in the body of the essay so follow the correct citation rules.
  8. Finding the best conclusion- Wrapping-up the context of the essay is one of the hardest parts of the writing process. The main goal of composing a conclusion or parting paragraph is to give a lasting impression to the readers. Restatements of the thesis statement, an interesting twist or a call to action are some of the ways to end an essay.
  9. Formatting the essay- The second to the last part of the essay writing is formatting with the correct citation guideline. All of the ideas that came from others should be cited in the body of the text. Ask your professor what format you will be required to use. The choice will fall to either MLA or APA style. In MLA, a Works Cited page should be made wherein all the references from the in-text citations should be arranged alphabetically. The same thing goes with APA but it is referred to as reference page.
  10. Proofreading- An essay will never be called done and accomplished without undergoing the process of proofreading. Grammar, punctuations as well as over-all content should be polished before printing and submitting the essay. Ensure that you followed all of the required necessities especially with the presentation of the paper. Follow the correct pagination, alignment and line spacing. Reread the paper and check with the spellings and poorly worded phrases.


      Knowing the 10 easy sequential steps in writing an essay will definitely help a beginner in how to put into action what is brewing in his or her mind. The study on how to effectively write an essay should be more of an open book where in a writer should be flexible with sudden changes and show adaptation with creativity on production of the essay.