Letter: Act 46: Job cuts, loss of local control

Posted

To the Editor:

Vermont school districts forced by Act 46 to consolidate are expected to limit education property taxes ("Making the Grade," Feb. 28).

The elephant in the room is that cutting school staff to match declining enrollment cuts friends', neighbors' and relatives' jobs.

The actual intent of school-district consolidation is centralizing and distancing these decisions.

The new Vermont Commissioner of Education's leaked, draft proposal of a single, statewide school "district" abolishes local control, as does Vermont House of Representatives Bill H.488: "An act relating to creating a statewide school district."

What young couple will choose to start and raise a family in a Vermont town without an elementary school?

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How will older residents passing away while young families stay away affect town property taxes?

Exercise local control to cut school staff to match enrollments, instead of cutting schools to increase enrollments in others.

Employ the Internet creatively to centralize elementary-school teaching and decentralize elementary-school classrooms.

For example, what if teachers rotated daily among five neighboring towns elementary schools staffed by paraeducators, while simultaneously teaching via the Internet at the others?

Howard Fairman,

Putney


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