Legislative Pledge of Support for Vermont State College Funding

On Behalf of VSCS Students, from VSCS Students

Addressed to the Legislators and Governor of the State of Vermont

Statement: As students of the Vermont State College System, we feel we deserve equal opportunity in our education. We stand as a people demanding that the State of Vermont increase the VSC System’s annual allocation to levels which we believe are, and have long been, clearly called for in Title 16, Chapter 72, Section 2171, which states that the state colleges shall be “supported in whole or in substantial part with State funds.” We firmly believe this is necessary in order for our campuses to continue to thrive within Vermont’s rural communities. This funding increase would greatly help enable Vermonters to remain in the state and get a degree they can use, and obtain their higher education with lower tuition costs and less debt load. We also believe this increase is a necessary and critical investment to ensure the future economic growth of Vermont as a whole.

The Pledge: The elected officials listed below have indicated to the VSCS Thrive! in writing that they PROMISE to support and fight for an unconditional and permanent increase in the VSCS allocation by at least DOUBLING the current and absurdly low level of 17%, and to work to ensure this increase becomes publicly assured by the Legislature no later than July 1st, 2020, so as to ensure the stability and continuity of the Vermont State Colleges. We thank these honorable officials for their service to Vermont, and their pledges of support.

Officials who would like to sign this pledge please use our Contact Form to send us a message requesting addition to this list, and a short statement (similar to those below). Please include an official email address or a phone number by which we can confirm your identity.

Thank you to our Signatories! Your pledge of support means everything to us!

Signatories:

  • Shayne Spence: Candidate for the Vermont House, Belvidere, Hyde Park, Johnson, and Wolcott (Lamoille 2 district). Signed May 1, 2020.
    • Statement: “”I am a candidate for the Vermont House in the Lamoille 2 district, representing NVU-Johnson. If I am elected, I pledge to fight for much more than just doubling funding, I will fight for us to get to 50% state funded or higher. I believe if we aren’t attempting to reach the statutory obligation of a VSC system funded “in whole or substantial part” by State appropriations, we are wasting our time. I will fight with everything in me to ensure our rural campuses are treated with the same value as those on the west side of the state.”
  • Ferron Wambold: Candidate for the Vermont House, Cambridge, Eden, and Waterville (Lamoille 3 district). Signed May 1, 2020.
    • Statement: “The VSCS is an integral part of the communities and lives of students, employees and community members.  By keeping and properly funding these colleges, which has been statutorily required, we help these communities flourish.  The state has committed to funding these systems and needs to keep their word.  These colleges bring in students from around the world, which brings in new citizens to Vermont – which is what we need. “
  • Representative Patrick Seymour: Lyndon, Burke, Sutton (Caledonia-4 district). Signed May 3, 2020.
    • Statement: “I plan to do everything in my power to get the funding that the State colleges need. This year I am sure we will get the bridge funding but we need to continue to push next year for increases. I would like to see the State’s funding return to the 50% of the past.”
  • Representative R. Scott Campbell: St. Johnsbury (Caledonia-3 district). Signed May 4, 2020.
    • Statement: “The Vermont State College system is a vital part of our economy, an intellectual and cultural jewel in our community, and a critical resource for Vermonters. I am committed to helping develop a sustainable model that serves the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students, and is supported in whole or in substantial part with State funds.”
  • Representative Mari Cordes: Addison-4 district. Signed May 8, 2020.
    • Statement: “Our VSC system has been shamefully underfunded by the state for many years, and yet our colleges are the bedrock from which communities thrive, and individuals grow and thrive with new careers and return untold benefits back to the state. We were facing a severe nursing shortage even before COVID-19. We need nursing education more than ever now. For the reasons stated here and many more, I commit to fighting for increasing state funding for VSC, and a fair, inclusive and creative process to support our state colleges into the future.”
  • Representative Brian Smith: Orleans-1 district. Signed May 10, 2020.
    • Statement: “NVU-Lyndon, NVU-Johnson, and VTC Randolph, are the very heart of “local Vermont” schools. I will do all that I can to secure their future for the generations to come. It may be time that loud, verbal language gets heard in Montpelier. It seems to be working for these schools right now. Let’s keep the noise going!”
  •  Peter Griffin: Candidate for the Vermont House: Caledonia-Washington (Cabot, Danville, and Peacham). Signed May 24, 2020.
    • Statement: “The VSCS is an absolutely integral part of our communities and region. So many friends and families I know have degrees from VSCS, work at VSCS, or take advantage of the intellectual, cultural, and athletic opportunities at VSCS campuses. The loss of the NVU campuses would be a crushing blow to our area, and to the State. I pledge to support increasing the permanent funding for the VSCS to avoid these outcomes, and to create an environment where the VSCS can thrive.”
  • Henry Pearl: Candidate for the Vermont House: Caledonia-Washington (Cabot, Danville, and Peacham). Signed July 9, 2020.
    • “As a VTC graduate myself, I am completely committed to ensuring that the Vermont State College System has the funding it needs to stay available and viable for our students and communities. The VSCS is crucial to ensuring a bright future for Vermont, not only is it an integral part of our economy, but also our culture. I believe there is much work to be done on this front, but I am absolute in my commitment to the VSCS. “