On Nov. 8, voters in Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven and Starksboro will face important choices. One of those choices concerns our schools: How to vote on school district consolidation (Act 46).
This question is complex. There are reasons to vote “yes” (short-term tax incentives; the hope of budget savings; the possibility of freeing up the superintendent’s time to focus less on school board meetings), and also some reasons to vote “no” (the tax incentives are relatively small and only last for four years; the projected budget savings that might result from consolidation are minimal and may not happen).
I’ve decided to vote “No” on the question. These are the reasons:
The proposed school district consolidation is likely to decrease, rather than increase, transparency and accountability (two of the main goals of Act 46). Decisions about everything from budgets to staffing, which now benefit from the oversight of community-level boards...