This text comes from a commentary by Heidi Scheuermann, a Republican, representing Stowe in the Vermont House of Representatives. You can read the whole commentary, plus additional thoughts relating to tourism, at this link.
As we returned to the Statehouse last week following our Town Meeting Day break, my quest continued for a one-year extension to the Act 46 involuntary merger deadline.
Then, on Friday of last week, following more testimony presented throughout the week (some unhelpful to our quest), the Senate committee passed a bill that allows for a deadline extension of one year as long as districts demonstrate that they are proceeding.
While I am really pleased with this development and look forward to the bill passing the full Senate this week, it is exceptionally frustrating to see the administration and the Vermont School Boards Association so opposed to this change, and working against the interests of our communities so aggressively.
After all, our communities have done everything right; everything according to the law; everything in the best interests of all of our students. Yet, none of that seems to matter.
This quest for an extension still seems like a Sisyphean task, but I am hopeful that we will ultimately prevail, and the governor will sign an extension into law. The additional time is critical to ensure this merger (if our appeal of the State Board of Education’s decision to forcibly merge our two districts doesn’t succeed) is done well and in a way that ensures the confidence and support of all of our students, parents, teachers, and communities as a whole.
A note from Campaign for Vermont
The Senate version of H.39 allows for a one-year extension of the merger deadline for districts caught up in the State Board of Education’s merger plan. This is critically important because it gives districts time to do the right thing for their students. Act 46 is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Write your legislator and tell them that they need to support this extension and support our towns. You can find their contact information here.