From an editor’s perspective, the school board elections in Addison Central School District and the decision by the four-member towns of the Mount Abraham Unified School District to approve Lincoln’s exit from the district were the most noteworthy of this year’s Town Meeting.
With Vermont schools stressed by COVID, you might expect pandemic recovery to be the only issue on the minds of those working in education.
In my opinion, Act 46 was intended specifically to bring about the closing of small towns’ schools in Vermont, despite what the text of the law itself states.
A trio of local community school advocates testifying before the House Education Committee last week expressed grave concerns about some of the Act 46 updates recently proposed by the Vermont State Board of Education.
In a commentary last week that rebutted our editorial, State Board of Education Chair Oliver Olsen took us to task for suggesting the SBE had more leeway to rule on Ripton’s behalf and he denied the SBE was “targeting small schools for consolidation.”
Unable to obtain school services elsewhere, Ripton administrators are considering rejoining the district. And now, state officials and lawmakers are trying to make sure another departure like Ripton’s doesn’t happen again.
In a letter to the editor two weeks ago, Peter Conlon exercised his right to respond to this editorial writer’s support of Ripton, Lincoln, Starksboro and other smaller towns that want to keep their smaller schools open.
District-wide enrollment increased by about 50 students this school year despite the number of families choosing to home school due to the pandemic.
Act 46 hasn’t caused discussions about closing schools. Enrollment declines, per-pupil spending increases and concerns about equity of opportunity have.
I encourage all board members on all three of Addison County unified districts’ school boards to stop, pick your heads up and look around. Small towns all around the state are fighting to keep their community schools open. And the problem isn’t the qualit … (read more)
Act 46 is flawed, deceptive legislation that should be repealed. Act 46 consolidation is being carried out in the Addison Central School District as a process of disempowering and disenfranchising the small towns of the district. Rather than each town ele … (read more)
I am distressed by the proposals for school closings in Addison County. The Legislature’s Education Committees took many weeks of testimony over a six-year period regarding how we move forward as a state in providing quality education for Vermont children … (read more)