MONTPELIER (AP) - The chairwoman of the Vermont House Education Committee says reforming the way the state's schools are governed will be a five-year process.

Rep. Johanna Leddy Donovan made the comment after hearing an afternoon worth of testimony on what was widely agreed to be the need to streamline the way the state's schools are governed, by paring the number of school boards from the current 285.

Lawmakers are discussing plans to eliminate small, one-school districts and folding them into a larger regional school district.

Impetus for change is coming in part from Vermont's rapidly rising school budgets at a time of declining enrollment.

But backers of the changes under discussion say they're more about improving student opportunities. They say the public should not expect big or immediate savings.