"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." I recently retired as a school superintendent from New York. The birth of a grandchild at Southwest Vermont Medical Center resulted in relocating to the area. Soon thereafter, I accepted the opportunity to serve the Bennington community as principal of Molly Stark Elementary School. This allowed me to continue my career in school leadership and my desire to help children. However, when I thought about school leadership opportunities, I never considered the chance to become a superintendent in Vermont because of the governance structure of Vermont public schools that I perceive as fractured and inefficient. Our SVSU, with a population of approximately 2,700 learners in eight different schools leaves the superintendent working with seven different school boards, representing 36 board members (some also serve on other boards as well). This creates a time consuming and complicated process for coordinating the development of districtwide policies, strangles a superintendent's schedule with meetings that may often duplicate efforts elsewhere and take time away from instructional matters, and separates our communities that ultimately send learners to common secondary schools. I support the Act 46 proposal under consideration on Election Day. A streamlined form of school governance can unify an expansive school district, provide equitable resource allocation, and increase efficiency of our operation. In conclusion, I would respond to those objectors worried about "local control" with the following quote, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." I encourage all voters to review information on Act 46 and carefully consider this important opportunity before us on Tuesday. Please vote yes on this issue.
The author is principal of Molly Stark Elementary School.
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