I read Jim’s last post on Tuesday evening, right before heading over to the Act 46 meeting at Barrett Hall. Jim nailed it regarding the importance of community support for education. Our schools work because our communities are committed to and engaged in their success. We serve on school boards and PTAs. We hold bake sales. We coach sports teams and robotics clubs. We volunteer and vote. We want what’s best for our students.
Our local boards have put in a staggering amount of work charting a course through Act 46 that will work for our schools. Ironically, their efforts actually illustrate what could be sacrificed if these same boards were to be subsumed by a regional school board. Would local support for education erode as accountability was dispersed across a multi-town district? How would voters react when called upon to support school budgets where 75% of the spending is for “other” towns? Who would show up at Barrett Hall on a Tuesday night in mud season?
In the many school board meetings, study groups, and community forums on Act 46 that Jim and I have attended in the last nine months, I have sensed that folks are deeply frustrated that they could be precluded from preserving what best serves their kids. Isn’t there another way?
I believe there is.
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