Mathew Forest (Director of Special Services, Saint Johnsbury Academy) joined the Senate Education Committee on Friday. Chairman Campion asked specifically about testimony they had on Act 173; a proposal to postpone implementation is out there.
NOTE: Forest serves on the Act 173 Advisory Committee.
Forest shared that his personal opinion is that it would be a disservice to students to delay implementation. Much work has been done to implement the law, including staff trainings. The major hurdle is staffing shortages and getting the finishing pieces of process in place.
There is also the issue of remediation with incoming students from other districts who have recent administrative leadership changes; these often have instructional deficits, not related to learning issues.
They have a two-pronged approach: give students continued exposure to grade level and comprehension level education while also addressing the skills deficits. He identified that reducing exposure to grade level content is compounding a flawed approach, keep a tier 1 intelligent kid in a tier 1 educational environment, but increase supports.