Letter to the editor: Streamlined ANeSU best for all
This week’s writer is Monkton resident Catrina DiNapoli, ANeSU assistant superintendent, former acting superintendent and Bristol Elementary School principal, parent of a Mount Abraham student and a recent Mount Abe graduate.
Voters have a lot to consider on Nov. 8. As an educator, I am determined to do my very best to advocate for all learners. I believe voting for Addison Northeast Supervisory Union to become one unified school district is a step toward improving our system without compromising the amazing work that our schools have done and continue to do each day.
I could speak volumes about the efficiencies that moving to one representative board, overseeing one unified district budget would bring. I can see clearly what a more streamlined communication and decision-making process we would realize with leadership being held accountable by one trained, highly skilled and committed Board of Directors.
I welcome the day when our system is structured to not only advocate for learners within our own zip code, but for those in surrounding towns who directly impact the educational experience received by all learners when they come together in middle school, and, well, in life.
As a parent and taxpayer in Monkton for nearly 20 years, my commitment runs deep. I am confident that my children are receiving and have received a great education. I am equally as confident that their education will not be and would not have been in the least bit compromised and most certainly not damaged in a unified district. I am convinced this structural change will offer opportunities that many of their now peers did not and may not have access to.
In addition, the financial incentives provided by the state should this vote pass are not to be taken lightly. Beeman Elementary school will be able to keep their Small Schools Grant (over $70,000) with a positive vote; the new district will receive up to $150,000 in a Transition Grant to help with expenses and reduce the budget; and taxpayers will receive first 8 percent, then 6 percent, 4 percent and 2 percent off educational spending costs over the next few years, again, reducing my taxes.
Should the vote not pass, a new committee will need to be formed to explore an alternative plan. This is after the first committee spent well over 80 meeting hours on this study and for some individuals, far more than that. Once this new group creates some other plan, it too will need to be brought to the state for approval after this plan already passed unanimously by the Agency of Education. Should the AOE approve whatever the new plan is, it will again be presented to the voters and even if it passes, we may not receive any of the incentives mentioned above.
I have faith in this unification plan and trust in the people who stand behind it. Our learners deserve the best school system we can provide and we will only get better together.
Mark A. Nelson of Bristol
BRISTOL — A memorial service for Mark A. Nelson of Bristol will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday … (read more)
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