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Act 117, passed in 2000, is intended to strengthen the capacity of Vermont’s education system to meet the needs of all Vermont students in the general education environment. It added increased reporting and monitoring responsibilities to examine issues of cost effectiveness, consistency and capacity statewide. Act 117 emphasizes the requirements of educational support services (ESS) and educational support teams (EST) as outlined in Act 157 and increases a school’s accountability for its ESS.
In 1996 Act 230 was reauthorized as Act 157 and requires that schools develop a comprehensive educational support system (ESS) with the capacity to provide a range of social, academic and behavioral supports. Act 157 extends the focus beyond academics to include those factors that may have a detrimental impact on a student’s school performance (i.e. nutrition, mental health, challenging life circumstances). IST’s became educational support teams (EST’s) to reflect the broader focus.