This article by Chris Mays originally appeared June 3 in the Brattleboro Reformer.
BRATTLEBORO — Acting Vermont Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey believes the best course of action to comply with Act 46 will involve a merger between school districts in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union.
The single unified union school district would educate pre-k-12 students and include the current governance structures of the Brattleboro Union High School District, Brattleboro School District, Dummerston School District, Guilford School District and Putney School District. The point of the law is to realize operational efficiencies and address student inequities.
“The Secretary makes this recommendation because the Legislature has determined that a larger governance structure, with its inherent flexibility and opportunities, is the best means of meeting the Act 46 goals, which is the loadstone for this document,” says Bouchey’s proposed plan released by the Vermont Agency of Education on Friday. “However, this recommendation is made with the full awareness that without the commitment of the communities to create a new definition of ‘us,’ potential opportunities will not be realized and unification may be blamed for any encountered difficulties.”
In November, voters rejected a unified union school district plan pitched by the WSESU Act 46 Study Committee. The yay-nay votes went like this: 375-850 in Brattleboro; 91-473 in Dummerston; 161-262 in Guilford; and 171-370 in Putney. All four communities are members of the regional high school district.
In December, another WSESU committee submitted a plan for an “alternative governance structure” to the Vermont Agency of Education. That would keep the districts and supervisory union intact.
Read full story at the Brattleboro Reformer.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)