Opinion: ANeSU governance plan would reduce local control

I will vote no on the ANESU ACT 46 Proposal on Nov. 8. Here’s why: Tax savings will be minimal and short-term, and they will be offset by an increase in our statewide education tax. Direct community input will be reduced when a single 13-member board is responsible for all six ANESU schools. It will be far more difficult for this large single board to closely consider the needs of each individual school.
Transparency will be reduced when voting on a single huge budget for all six ANESU schools. Attendance at informational meetings is low, so the ability to discuss local budgets at town meeting should not be thwarted by a mandatory Australian ballot in all of our five towns.
The proposal offers no distinct educational advantages for students. There are other paths for compliance with Act 46. Vermont schools are respected nationwide for our level of community involvement and personalized programs; let’s not lose our advantage.
Instead, Act 46 needs to clarify and encourage broader options for compliance, and our five town schools need to hop off the fast track. As Vermonters know, bigger is not necessarily better and standardization is not equivalent to equity.
Alice Leeds

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