Since town meeting day is coming up and school budgets are being prepared, and since the superintendent of the SVSU has resigned, and since the superintendent of the BVSU has not been rehired, I think it is time for a trial of a unified school district.
Specifically, I believe that a Bennington County Supervisory Union should be considered. This plan would eliminate two superintendents, two special education directors and the related administrative staff and it could give more local control to the principals and the building level special education coordinators. Mr. Dan French is remaining at the BRSU and thus would be a natural candidate to head this unified supervisory union. If we were to do this on a trial basis for three or five years, and put it to a re-vote, all would have their say.
I would guess that there will be an initial cost to unify; however, taxpayers can hope for and ultimately review the savings that streamlining causes. Parents can monitor whether or not streamlining decreases frustration and increases satisfaction. Teachers could have more influence at the building level with "local" resolution. Whatever the outcome, this would be a "trial," only continued by the voters. The trend in this state and many others is moving in this direction. We in Bennington County have the opportunity to try this now (and save time and money on the rehiring process).
ROBERT C HEMMER