Ninety school districts - about a quarter of Vermont’s communities - have proposed meeting Act 46’s goals through collaboration rather than formal merger.
In some, topography makes merger unworkable. In others, merging with differing debt levels would create inequitable burdens on the towns least able to pay. But all advocate for accessible, equitable rural education.
They’ve all responded within the law. All are convinced they’ll meet students’ needs as well, or better, by retaining community-level governance. They simply don’t accept a trade-off between children and community—they argue that one cannot possibly thrive without the other.