Daily Archives: December 2, 2022

Education Agency Presses a Political Hot Button

The Vermont Agency of Education has announced the establishment of a Family Engagement Council, an advisory body to be appointed by Secretary Dan French.

One could see this as a benign move, or even overdue. The problem is, “family engagement” has become a buzzword for conservatives angry about critical race theory or LGBTQ+ issues or Black Lives Matter. To establish such a body at this particular moment should set off some alarm bells. At the very least, we should watch closely the formation of this council.

Plus, neither French nor his boss have inspired confidence. Gov Phil Scott openly supports a statewide voucher program that would funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools and home schoolers. Scott hasn’t actively pursued the idea because he knows it’s DOA in the Legislature. French, meanwhile, came to the Agency from the Canaan school district, one of the most conservative in the state. It was the only district that never instituted a mask mandate, even during the worst days of the pandemic. And during French’s tenure,

Applications are being accepted until December 18. Who can apply? “The council will consist of between 10 to 15 parents, guardians and family members of students enrolled in Vermont schools.”

Note the last phrase: “…enrolled in Vermont schools.”

Not public schools. Any school, public or private.

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