This article by Greg Sukiennik originally appeared Feb. 9 in the Manchester Journal.
RUPERT — The Act 46 school merger between Pawlet and Rupert faces yet another challenge, as Rupert will reconsider its “yes” vote.
An informational meeting was held on Monday, and the vote will be held on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Rupert Town Hall. Only Rupert voters will be participating in the re-vote, and a “no” vote would scuttle the merger for both towns.
On Nov. 21, voters in Pawlet and Rupert both approved a merger of the two school districts, which already send their students to Mettawee Community School, as the Mettawee School District. Pawlet approved the merger by a 259 to 201 margin, while the margin in Rupert was just eight votes — 150 in favor to 142 opposed.
The petition seeking a reconsideration in Rupert was submitted three days before the Secretary of State was to certify the merger vote.
At issue in Rupert is the town’s long-standing practice of designating nearby Salem, N.Y. as its high school, which would be replaced by a school choice tuition model if the merger is upheld. The long-standing connection between the towns has been cited by merger opponents as reason to continue as a separate district. Another is that Salem’s tuition rate is a good deal less than the $15,130 average tuition rate for Vermont schools that the district would be obligated to pay to students choosing Vermont schools.
Read full story at the Manchester Journal.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)