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.
The law journal article contends independent schools have to provide services comparable to public schools if they receive public funds.
Residents met this week to hear about their options, which also hinge on what happens in a revote in Rochester that’s scheduled after theirs.
The secretary says Bill Talbott is the only person she knows who has the Green Book — a thick tome that is Vermont’s education law — memorized.
In Caledonia County, several districts would combine only if another merger or a change in statute comes about that would result in tax breaks. The board also OK’d proposals in southern Vermont.
Some had argued the standards for districts that couldn’t or didn’t want to merge were more stringent than the rules for those that were uniting under the law.
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.
John O’Keefe of Manchester and former Sen. John Carroll will replace outgoing Chair Stephan Morse and Vice Chair Sean Marie Oller, sources said.
The Education Committee supported legislation creating a special group to recommend how to move forward with controversial private school rules and making various other changes to laws.
The debate over public funding of private schools includes whether they should have to educate all students, as long as there is room.
“Those communities are not crazy to think it is part of a philosophical push that has been in the air for some years,” said one lawmaker, harking back to failed legislation on public money for private education.
The supervisory union’s Act 46 study committee has decided not to push for a controversial merger vote. Instead, it will ask the State Board of Education for advice on how to move forward.
Proposed legislation would throw out the draft rules, give private schools a board seat and require members to hew to legislative intent in rulemaking.
Members agreed they need the Education Agency’s input, which they haven’t had since August. How to make that happen was a matter of some disagreement.