Vermont Looks To Maine On School Consolidation UPDATED

Our neighbors in Vermont are considering a path familiar to Mainers.  Vermont legislators are debating whether or not they should attempt to consolidate school districts.  Opponents of consolidation in Vermont cite similar concerns as some have had in Maine, such as limited public involvement.  One Vermont senator referred to consolidation as “nickle-and-dime-ing” while avoiding serious money issues.  

David Silvernail of the Maine Education Policy Research Institute attended the discussion as well.  Silvernail suggested that consolidation be required and nor incentive based.  “All the states that are using incentives are getting very little movement.” said Silvernail.  Silvernail believes that Maine’s mistake on consolidation comes from how quickly the government pushed it forward.  Silvernail also saw the lack of a public buy-in as an issue.

Had consolidation moved more slowly it may have avoided the upcoming repeal vote.  In a little over two weeks voters will decide how we will proceed.

UPDATE:  A friend of mine works in the Vermont school system.  She had the following to say about their consolidation efforts:

Living in VT and working for a school district I am seeing the effects of school consolidation. Some positive and some negative effects.

They have “plans”. My school district has created a plan for which schools to shut down and where to move kids. From what I understand this plan has not been well supported by the town. I really hope they can come up with a better plan! Bigger classes would mean less direct teaching for students. I also hope they think about it and take it slow.

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One Response

  1. […] Posted on October 19, 2009 by deviger A few days ago, I brought you the news that Vermont is considering a similar move to consolidate their school districts.  Vermont officials were keeping their sights on Maine’s […]

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