Letter: Skimping on education costs state's economy

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To the Editor:

At the recent Advanced Manufacturing forum at the firehouse several local industries stressed their struggles to grow their business due to the need for better technical education at the local level.

A representative of Hudson Valley Community College promoted HVCC's world class program for CNC programming. It sounds like a great program, but it appears most likely that a graduate would be quickly hired by a firm in the Capital District at a higher rate than is paid in Bennington.

The College Board has recently published data that the amount expended in Vermont per student for public higher education ($3,020) was the second lowest of all the states, and less than a third the amount spent in neighboring New York ($10,640). For every $1,000 in personal income, we Vermonters spend $2 on higher education, while in neighboring New York the figure is $5 — and it has gotten worse — VT's funding declined 18 percent in the last decade (in New York it increased 6 percent).

This is a major reason Vermont's economy has been left behind — particularly here in Southern Vermont. It is no wonder that our young people are leaving this state!

Ned Perkins,

Bennington

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