School & District Management News in Brief

Vt. Officials Face Backlash Over Mergers

By The Associated Press — December 11, 2018 1 min read

Audra Hughes and her husband moved to Stowe, a ski resort town in Vermont, five years ago, in part because of the schools.

Now, the district is being forced to merge its budget and school board with the neighboring district of Elmore-Morristown. It’s part of a 2015 law to create larger, more efficient districts in the rural state dotted by small towns, to give students more equal educations and improve results.

But the merger doesn’t sit well with Hughes and many residents in the three communities.

“I think that both of our school boards demonstrated the success of how we all currently operate on behalf of our students and I think that anything that takes away from our students is something I’m not comfortable with,” she said.

The communities are among at least 20 planning to take legal action against the state over the forced mergers. The state board of education released its final plan this month to merge 45 districts in 39 towns to form 11 new districts.

“If we are forced to merge this year, Elmore and Morristown residents will see their taxes rise,” Stowe and Elmore-Morristown school boards wrote in an open letter to their communities. “Both districts have pressing capital projects that could be compromised by a forced merger.”

Jamie Kollar of Elmore fears that pressure will rise to close her town’s one-room elementary school when three towns vote on one budget. She and her husband moved to the small rural community (population 860) where she was raised because it had offered an option for parents to send their children to other high schools. But six months after they arrived, that choice was eliminated when the district consolidated with Morristown in 2016.

“We just gave away so much initially in that merger and we’re just giving up more now in this forced merger with Stowe,” Kollar said. Not only are they losing control of their school budget but they will be paying taxes to a school system in Stowe that their kids can’t attend, she said.

Vermont’s education secretary had recommended that the two districts not merge, but the state board, which has the final say, rejected her recommendation.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the December 12, 2018 edition of Education Week as Vt. Officials Face Backlash Over Mergers

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management From Our Research Center How the Pandemic Is Shaping K-12 Education (in Charts)
Surveys by the EdWeek Research Center show how schools have changed during the pandemic and what adjustments are likely to stick.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School on Oct. 6, 2020, in Rye, N.Y.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School in Rye, N.Y., last fall.
Mary Altaffer/AP
School & District Management 'You Can’t Follow CDC Guidelines': What Schools Really Look Like During COVID-19
All year, some teachers have said that enforcing precautions to slow the spread of the virus in classrooms can be nearly impossible.
13 min read
Guntown Middle School eighth graders walk the halls to their next class as others wait in their assigned spots against the wall before moving into their next class during the first day back to school for the Lee County District in Guntown, Miss on Aug. 6, 2020.
Eight graders walk the halls on the first day back to school in Guntown, Miss., on Aug. 6, 2020. Teachers in several states told Education Week that since the beginning of the school year, enforcing precautions such as social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus has been nearly impossible.<br/>
Adam Robison/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP
School & District Management Opinion School Reopening Requires More Than Just Following the Science
Educators can only “follow the science” so far. Professional expertise matters too, writes Susan Moore Johnson.
Susan Moore Johnson
5 min read
Illustration of school and bus
Getty
School & District Management Why Teacher Vaccinations Are So Hard to Track
Teachers can now get the COVID-19 vaccine, but there’s no way of knowing how many are currently inoculated against the virus.
6 min read
Image of a needle and vaccine bottle.
iStock/Getty