Making important decisions about our community schools is the responsibility of townspeople.
Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe predicts a 7 to 9-cent tax increase, at least, unless the state can find millions of dollars in cuts.
As districts take advantage of the new flexibility under a new school consolidation law, the Board of Education is becoming more rigid in its assessments of merger proposals.
Any school that is more than a 15-minute drive from another school will be considered geographically isolated.
At a meeting marking the merger of the two school districts, the governor called for citizen involvement and civil discussion on difficult issues like educational consolidation.
The two districts didn’t have similar districts nearby to merge with. A new law lets them continue operating as they have within a new supervisory union structure.
Voters have gone back and forth to the polls in Royalton, Bethel, Rochester and Tunbridge. Now things are beginning to shake out with state approval of a planned Bethel-Royalton merger.
Citing their isolation, school officials in the mountain town want to link their district with two recently formed school districts under a “2x2x1” option the Legislature created this year.
“Like me, she actually has less power than they think,” Rebecca Holcombe said of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “She can’t make radical changes … without the support of Congress.”
In a key change, the school board that governs the proposed merged district would not have the power to close a local school without that community’s consent.
School board members say the plan, which would send middle school students to Bethel and high school students to Royalton, is the last, best option for residents to comply with Act 46.
Taking advantage of a new legislative provision, residents OK’d withdrawing from a regional education district to preserve school choice and pursue alternative Act 46 solutions.
It is time to focus back on this common goal of improving educational quality and to work hand in hand with communities where consolidation has proved difficult.
Once again, Dover voters have overwhelmingly OK’d merging their school district with that of neighboring Wardsboro. In a special election Tuesday, the tally was 47-9 in favor of creating a district with shared board governance between the two towns. Both towns’ elementary schools will remain open. Dover already had approved the Act 46 merger plan […]