Letter: Vote against school consolidation

To the editor:

On Nov. 7, Act 46 may come home to our part of Vermont. It would come in the form of a vote. On that day, the voters of the Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford school districts may vote to approve or disapprove the proposed reorganization of the districts.

You will want to vote against the merger proposal if you want to preserve your local school board or local school district meeting. If you care that your local school might be closed, vote "no" on this article.

There are no cost savings. There is only merger, and the loss of autonomy for each individual school district. Your voting power will be diluted. You will lose your identity as a separate school district and become one with others, who may not share your vision of education. And you will have to live with the results.

The alternative structure will not be on the ballot on Nov. 7. Voting down the merger article may resuscitate it, and it is far superior to the new plan, because it preserves existing boards and districts, and merges only the administrative function.

The merger is not justified by the short-term carrots the state is throwing at us if we accept this proposal. That money will soon be gone, and we will be left with a merged district that isn't responsive to our needs.

Let's not let this idea pass. It's not in any town's best interests.

— Mike Bethel



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