In May 2018, Vermont passed Act 173. The purpose of the act is “to enhance the effectiveness, availability, and equity of services provided to all students who require additional support in Vermont’s schools.” This act changes the funding for special education from a reimbursement model to a census-based model, based on recommendations from the University of Vermont’s Study of Vermont State Funding for Special Education.
Act 173 also aligns the five opportunities for improving services for students who need additional support as described in the District Management Group report of 2017:
- Ensure elementary Tier 1 core instruction meets the needs of most students;
- Provide additional instructional time outside core subjects aligned to the core instruction, to students who struggle, rather than providing interventions instead of core instruction;
- Ensure students who struggle receive all instruction from highly skilled teachers;
- Create or strengthen a systems-wide approach to supporting positive student behaviors based on expert support; and
- Provide students having more intensive support needs with specialized instruction from skilled and trained experts.