State OK’s Lincoln’s withdrawal from MAUSD

LINCOLN — The Vermont State Board of Education on Wednesday approved Lincoln’s plan to withdraw from the Mount Abraham Unified School District.

The approval paves the way for the town to form an independent Lincoln School District, elect its own school board, and begin work on the next step of the withdrawal process, which involves crafting an exit agreement with the MAUSD to settle any outstanding fiscal matters.

In anticipation of the State Board’s approval, Lincoln officials have been making plans to hold school board elections, which they hope will take place on June 21, according to a May 16 Front Porch Forum post by Town Clerk Sally Ober. That date could change, so Lincoln residents should keep an eye out for updates.

Lincoln’s bid to withdraw from the MAUSD was launched last summer by a group called Save Community Schools (SCS), which cited, among other things, concerns over the possibility that the MAUSD or a merged district consisting of the MAUSD and the Addison Northwest School District would close the Lincoln Community School, which serves 85 students, according to the school website.

In August, Lincoln residents voted by a 3-to-1 margin to withdraw from the MAUSD and run their own school. The other four district towns of Bristol, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro ratified Lincoln’s vote this past March.

Save Community Schools has been collaborating with officials in Ripton, which won independence from the Addison Central School District earlier this year, to create a Mountain District Supervisory Union.

Starksboro, which earlier this month also voted to leave the MAUSD, has been invited to join that collaboration.

Lincoln anticipates its independent school district will become operational on July 1, 2023, SCS member Jim Warnock said.

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