The Caledonian Record | Jennifer Hersey Cleveland | October 23, 2015 Read in full here
ORLEANS – A growing distrust of Montpelier’s mandates and a perceived lack of voice in the Northeast Kingdom are going to be obstacles if the Orleans Central Supervisory Union schools decide to merge into a single educational district, according to members of the Act 46 study committee. During the committee’s third meeting Wednesday night, member Michael Sanville, who represents Irasburg at Lake Region Union High School, said people here feel disenfranchised by their state government and will not accept any plan that gives them less control over their children’s education.
“There’s a lot of discontent right now about whether or not anyone’s listening to them,” Sanville said. “There’s a lot of angry people right now.”
Over the past few weeks, my concerns about Act 46, the school district consolidation law passed last spring, have gained a bit of attention. I would like to make my position clear and provide recommendations for improving this law — legislation passed with the best of intentions. I also believe that there are a number of areas not addressed by the act that need immediate attention, so that together we can create the Vermont school system of the future.
As my state representatives and senators will tell you, I raised significant concerns about the legislation that would become Act 46 after it passed in the House. The version passed later by the Senate was, in fact, a piece of legislation that would have allowed us to have an important conversation about the future of our education system and would have facilitated and incentivized mergers that had been in the works for several years, as well as “simple” mergers for some sup...