It didn’t take long for the inner contradictions of the state’s new school consolidation law to reveal themselves. Education officials at the state level are already struggling to reconcile those contradictions, even as school officials at the local level are scratching their heads about how to proceed.
As described by William Mathis in a commentary in the Herald and Times Argus on Sunday, efforts to consolidate school governance in Vermont have a long history. Mathis, a member of the state Board of Education, showed how power has shifted from state to local authorities over the years, with schemes for state intrusion sometimes taking no more than two years to fall apart.
Act 46 is the new law that would force local school officials to form larger school districts by consolidating boards. The idea is to simplify governance. The law appears to be doing the opposite.[…]