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ANwSU invites public to discuss unification on Tuesday

ADDISON — A Tuesday forum at Addison Central School will look at the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union unification process. It is sponsored by the ANwSU committee that is spearheading what is expected to become the third formal effort since 2005 to unify union governance under one board.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., committee members will to address unification issues, including those that led to Addison’s petitioned defeat last year of the one-board initiative. Addison overturned its approval of unification in May 2009 after all five ANwSU towns backed it overwhelmingly that March.
Another forum at Addison Central School (ACS) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday will focus on an effort by some town residents to persuade Addison to convert its public elementary school into an independent private school that would serve town pupils. (See related story, Page 1.)
On Tuesday, the ANwSU committee hopes to discuss fears about possible ACS closure, which officials insist is less likely under unification, and the financial benefits of unification, including that a costly ACS per-pupil spending penalty would be erased.
The meeting will also take a look Act 153, the new state law that encourages unification. Department of Education finance director Bill Talbot will attend the Tuesday meeting to explain the law.
Act 153 offers unified union taxpayers four years of property tax breaks — eight cents for the first year down to two cents in the fourth — and offers unified unions $150,000 for consolidation.
Other Tuesday issues could include discussion of the Articles of Agreement, efforts to make those articles more widely available prior to the next vote, a look at ANwSU elementary school choice, discussion of what ANwSU officials said were inaccuracies spread before the previous vote, a look at Addison’s assumption of debt from other towns, and work to make elementary school education more equitable in a unified union.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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