The merger proposal that would have created the Mount Anthony Unified School District out of the Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, Woodford, and Mount Anthony Union school districts has failed.
If the proposal does not pass, each district’s board would need to report to the State Board of Education in December on ways they are already meeting Act 46’s goals.
Education leaders met at the Capitol Plaza Hotel on Wednesday to discuss public education “that works for all children.” Speakers at the conference addressed equity, special needs and Act 46.
On Nov. 7 voters of Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford will be asked to decide whether or not to adopt a proposal that would bring their schools into compliance with Act 46 by merging the districts into a single pre-K through 12 district with one board and one budget.
“If I fail with this lawsuit there will be no local control of schools in Vermont. This is a last stand. This is it.”
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is asking lawmakers to review Act 46 to hold the education governance law accountable to its promises.
Another proposed district merger has failed, and now a handful of schools in Windsor County face an uncertain future as the next Act 46 deadline approaches.
A group of active and former school board members are behind a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that Act 46 violates numerous federal laws.
Like Washington Central Supervisory Union, about 100 districts have not merged under Act 46 and have no scheduled merger vote. Of that number, around 40 are weighing an alternative governance structure.