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 supervisory unions already in a good position to consolidate school boards and budgets.
Unfortunately, the final legislation — Act 46 — contains provisions that may actually prevent the thoughtful, innovative kinds of conversations we need to have and does not encourage some cost-saving measures that would allow us to continue to have one of the best K-12 education systems in the country.[…]
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!