MONTPELIER >> Vermont's education secretary says 11 supervisory unions are pursuing accelerated mergers with other districts six months after passage of a new law that encourages district consolidation to address rising costs and declining enrollment.

Secretary Rebecca Holcombe told the House Education Committee on Wednesday that 28 study committees also have been formed to examine consolidation.

Act 46 provides tax incentives to districts that consolidate with a goal of saving money through efficiencies and providing equal education to students across the state. Vermont has nearly 60 supervisory structures, including 46 supervisory unions, overseeing 277 school districts.

Education officials told the committee that there's a lot of confusion about the new law and challenges remain with it.