Wednesday, December 16, 2015

State Board of Education approves ACSU reorganization proposal

The Vermont State Board of Education approved the ACSU's proposal for consolidating seven school boards, including Ripton's, into one.
Unification plans put forward by the Rutland South Supervisory Union, the Addison Central Supervisory Union and the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union were approved by the state board. The mergers will now move into the community engagement phase of the unification process. After that there will be an up or down vote by the affected communities. 
A note on that process:
The SBE approved an accelerated merger plan under Act 46 put forward by the towns of Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge. The communities will be asked to vote on the preferred model that creates a single preK through 12th grade district with a single tax rate on March 1, 2016. If voters approve, they plan to be operational by July 1, 2016, which means they will be able to take advantage of the full package of tax incentives.
There was state praise for local efforts:
Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe said the mergers are a “phenomenal accomplishment.”
“People are really engaged in this conversation,” Holcombe said. “This is a hard conversation. Nobody wants to have this conversation. We have to really hand it to our school boards who have embraced this challenge.”
We blogged about this process yesterday, and will continue to follow the story into 2016 and beyond.

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