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Opinion: School consolidation would dimish local control

Posted on April 24, 2014 |
By Hannah Sessions



Editor’s note: This letter was sent to Rep. Willem Jewett and state Sens. Claire Ayer and Chris Bray.

I am writing about Bill H.883. I have been on the school board in my town for eight years and have a lot of reservations about this bill.

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Opinion: Creating fewer, large school districts is a good idea

Posted on April 20, 2014 |
By David Wolk et al.



Before the turn of the 20thcentury, there were more than 2,500 school districts in Vermont. Back then, as it is today, debate was passionate. How should schooling be organized to meet our shared goals? In 1892, our Legislature took courageous action by abolishing those micro-districts and transforming our school system to one with fewer than 300 districts, about the same number as today.

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Time running out at Statehouse for education reform bill

Posted on April 17, 2014 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — Local lawmakers on Monday were unsure whether a sweeping bill calling for expansion of public school districts would receive final legislative approval before the 2014 session concludes in about three weeks.

The bill in question is H.883, which allows the state’s current 282 school to voluntarily realign into around 50 expanded K-12 districts. Each school district would be governed by a single board and operate on a single budget.

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Editorial: H.883 — Changing status quo needed to improve outcomes

Posted on April 17, 2014 |
By Angelo S. Lynn



At Monday’s legislative breakfast, Weybridge resident Fran Putnam asked an important question concerning a legislative proposal to consolidate school governance districts as drafted in H.883: “Before we totally throw the baby out with the bathwater,” she said, “we really need to think about: What is the problem we’re trying to solve, what is the goal here, and is this the best way to do it?”

Rep. David Sharpe, D-Bristol, answered that question in part:

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Community Forum: School consolidation would incease costs

Posted on April 14, 2014 |
By Gail Conley



This week’s writer is Gail Conley, a Huntington resident who is retired after 40 years as an educator in public schools, including serving as interim superintendent of the Addison Central Supervisory Union from 2011 to 2013. He delivered these remarks to the Vermont House Ways and Means and Education committees on April 9.

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Community Forum: Why I voted against school consolidation

Posted on April 7, 2014 |
By William J. Mathis



This week’s writer is Goshen resident William J. Mathis, a former Rutland Northeast superintendent and the managing director of the National Education Policy Center, which has researched school consolidations nationally.

When the press release named me as the only state board of education member who voted against the Legislature’s consolidation plan, the perfectly predictable result was a stampede of reporters asking me, “Why?” Here’s my answer:

The bill is ghost dancing.

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Addison Northeast explores school unity

Posted on November 23, 2011 |
By Andrew Stein



BRISTOL — School boards in the five Addison Northeast Supervisory Union towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Starksboro, New Haven and Monkton last week met with consultant Ray Proulx to explore options for school consolidation.

Proulx, who last year produced a report on costs and benefits of consolidation in the Addison Central Supervisory Union, laid out several options. Superintendent Evelyn Howard said each board should continue to discuss unification options at their upcoming meetings.

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Does school consolidation cut costs?

Posted on November 23, 2011 |
By Andrew Stein



BRISTOL — With discussions like the one in Bristol last week about how schools can work together to save money by working together, many are asking the question, “Does school consolidation really cut costs?”

The Legislature has offered Vermont towns an incentive to perform RED (Regional Education District) studies to see how a type of school consolidation would work for them.

The RED study template, created by the Vermont Department of Education, explains the reasoning behind RED-study incentives:

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