Instead of hollowing out our rural communities we should be talking about reinventing our schools and our communities with new technologies and innovation.
The panel accommodated requests from more than 30 House members to add more language from H.15, a bill once described as offering so much flexibility as to gut the intent of Act 46.
Everyone agreed that the goals of Act 46 are laudable, but asked the state to trust its communities and local voters to do right by their children and their communities.
Barnard citizens voted to reject the study committee’s merger proposal, as voters wielded the only real power they had within this proposal process.
Some said Act 46 had caused deep divisions in their communities and implored lawmakers to trust local people instead of pushing another top-down approach.
More than 100 school districts have merged under Act 46. Lawmakers this year have focused on ways to help areas of the state where consolidation discussions have stalled.
Whether the state will choose partnership and collaboration with communities in order to achieve the goals of Act 46 — or choose to entrench in rigidity will be decided in what remains of the legislative session.
Lawmakers are trying to create more options for parts of the state that have not found it easy to meet the goals of the school district merger law.