State board votes to merge districts despite opposition

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BARRE, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Board of Education has voted to make the Arlington and Sandgate school districts join the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union.

Arlington and Sandgate now make up one of Vermont's smallest supervisory unions.

The SUs had opposed the plan and sought a six-month delay to study the idea.

The Bennington Banner reports the superintendent of Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union told the board Thursday that the SU will be dealing with a forced merger when its's asked to take on two new districts. He said it will overtax personnel and financial resources.

The forced merger refers to the acting state education secretary's recommendation to merge the Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford districts into a grade pre-K-to-6 union elementary school district. The board will issue a final statewide plan by Nov. 30.

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