Vernon should bail out of the SU
Editor of the Reformer:
I have attended the Vernon Act 46 Study Committee meeting and watched all of the Committee's meetings and the State Board of Education's meetings on BCTV. hank you BCTV for providing this service. I also attended both the forums held by the Vernon Elementary School Board to provide information explaining the VES board's decision to support withdrawal from the BUHS #6 Supervisory Union.
After watching the Committee meetings on BCTV and listening to the Vernon Elementary Board's rational for withdrawal, I think we should support the School Board's decision to slow down and not jump into this while it is in flux. The decision to withdraw is the right one and offers the most protection and options for Vernon taxpayers, many of whom are parents of Vernon students and staff of our school.
Reviewing the Articles of Agreement I find Vernon would lose local control of our school. As a member of the current BUHS #6 Supervisory Union, we own our school, school equipment and property. Under the proposed new Unified District, we would not own our school property; it would belong to the Unified District (all participating towns). They would own all property and collect all revenues as the Vernon Elementary School district would no longer exist. The Unified District would do the hiring of our teachers and staff members and would determine staffing assignments.
We would no longer have school choice that has historically provided expanded educational opportunities for Vernon students. School choice affords those who are selling their homes an advantage as many of the young families who are buying homes are looking for school choice.
In listening to VPR, I know both Bruce Lisman and Phil Scott have stated that they do not support Act 46 as written and if elected, will scrap or it make changes and look for other ways to save money. Peter Galbraith and Matt Dunne do not support Act 46 either. And Sue Minter has also expressed qualms. Since we will have a new Governor, Lt. Governor, Senate Pro-tem and Speaker of the House, doesn't it make sense to slow down, wait to see how the elections sugar out and see what changes are made to Act 46 before we jump on the bandwagon? I think so.
The Vernon Elementary School Board is asking for our support to keep our options open, take the time necessary to answer all the uncertainties of Act 46 and to see the changes which will occur to Act 46 in the next legislative session. Many representatives and candidates for Governor have called for either the repeal of Act 46 or at the least, significant changes to the law to provide equity for all towns.
I ask that you join me in supporting our School Board by voting to withdraw from the BUHS #6 Supervisory Union when you vote on Aug. 9.
Lynda Starorypinski, Vernon, Aug. 4