Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Sunday that Vermont must "have some difficult discussions about how to save the state college system.''
That's because three Vermont colleges might close due to financial problems that have been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the issue on Monday. Scott said state lawmakers must immediately work on a statewide plan "to rethink, reform and strengthen the education system in ways that are fair and equitable to every student, every community and every taxpayer.''
The colleges are Northern Vermont University campuses in Johnson and Lyndon and Vermont Technical College in Randolph.
Senate President Tim Ashe and Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, who are both Democrats, also issued a statement Sunday that the vote should be postponed.
"While we recognize that change must come, an abrupt vote to close three campuses, with three days notice, without a public plan for what comes next for the students, faculty and staff, and the host communities is not appropriate, especially in this era of unprecedented unknowns,'' they said.
Vermont has had more than 800 cases of the virus.