Does a rural child in Vermont have the right to a quality education within their community or within a reasonable travel distance from their community? What is a reasonable travel distance, particularly for our youngest children?
These questions were not asked or answered in Montpelier as our citizen legislators discussed sweeping changes to our school governance system. This is because the bill H.361 now on its way to becoming law is supposedly not about closing schools. Legislators felt the need to say the bill is not about closing schools to everyone they talked to. They even wrote the words in the bill but without accompanying actions to ensure no schools will close. Maybe they were trying to convince themselves because the bill does much to ensure that schools will, in fact, close.
I am not sure when we lost sight of the prize, an excellent equitable education system at a cost that hard-working Vermonters can afford. But somewhere along the way it was decided that to reach that goal we had to sacrifice small community schools.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!