Letter to the editor: ANeSU consolidation wouldn’t better schools, society

I’ve written a few notes already on various parts and likely effects of Act 46, the well intentioned but badly considered consolidation law that is to be voted the five towns of Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro in about two weeks. I think we should vote “No.”
Here’s why:
Do I think Act 46, as proposed to be implemented here — or anywhere else in the state — will solve educational problems in any real sense or wide way? No. Will we revisit the same questions about educational effectiveness and costs again soon if we pass this? Yes. Will we have the same or similar dissatisfactions then? Yes.
Do I think that public education and its funding is worthy of change to minimize costs and to improve quality? Yes. Do I think that Act 46 will do this? No. Do I think Act 46 will help make us a better society? No. Do I feel our society will be better with it? No. Do I feel our society will be worse with it? Yes. Do I feel we will lose significant public engagement and satisfaction with this? Yes.
As a 40-plus year resident of this area who has served on many boards and committees, has served as selectboard member and chair, town clerk and treasurer, town manager, and other positions, I can’t see how state legislators and school administrators — in their honest desire to help — cannot see the harm they have created with this over-reaching law.
The bottom line, for all these matters, these attempts, I mean, for me, is not whether we have a better or more affordable educational system, but whether we have a better society, which is a wider perspective and should be more strongly considered. Consolidating under this Act 46 law will not make us better it will make us worse and I urge a “No” vote and better education.
Robert Bernstein

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