Ricky Davidson

Fear of change can keep us from moving forward

An Act 46 merger balances the potential positives in educational quality and equity with potential cost savings. Isn’t this the right thing to do?

I have seen all of the letters and heard the words discouraging the Act 46 merger of the local school systems.

I understand people's concerns. I have been on the Act 46 study committee from the beginning and believe that the merger will help the students of all of the schools.

One of the concerns I keep hearing is the lack of local control. Currently, there are 28 elected members to the school boards, from the four towns in the merger plan - 29, if you count the one representative from Vernon on the Brattleboro Union High School board.

In the merger plan, each school would get a leadership council, which will make many of the decisions the local school boards make now. I know such a group is not the same as an elected body, but believe me, they are as strong as we could make them. With five to seven people on each leadership council, one an elected board member, that would make a minimum of 50 people involved in the leadership of the 10 schools that would comprise this new entity. All of them would be answerable to the public.

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