BARRE — Those who fear the state Board of Education is itching to rubber-stamp a draft plan for dealing with school districts that haven’t voluntarily merged under Act 46 should have stayed to the end of Wednesday’s meeting at the State House.
After a session that spanned nearly nine hours and featured a parade of presentations from merger-averse school officials and residents around the region, board members ended the meeting by balking at one agency recommendation and openly hinting that could be the beginning of a trend.
After requesting — but refusing to require — that officials in the Barre Supervisory Union alter their plans to hold a November merger vote, board members predicted that probably won’t be the last time they ignore the advice of the Agency of Education while navigating the last leg of what Chairwoman Krista Huling described as a “historic” process.
“This is a heavy lift,” Huling said in a near-empty room that had been filled to capacity for much of the day. “It hasn’t b...